People Management

Cheng and Panico Win SMS Best Paper Prize

, by Andrea Costa
The two scholars have been awarded a best paper prize for an analysis of the relationship between corporate activities, startup activities, and innovation

During its annual conference in Toronto, Canada, the Strategic Management Society has assigned a Best Paper prize to a new paper by Claudio Panico (Bocconi Department of Management and Technology), Yangyang Cheng (Bocconi PhD candidate) and Carmelo Cennamo (CBS Copenhagen).

In their paper titled "Big Tech, Small Tech, and the Technology Life Cycle: The Case of Artificial Intelligence's Evolution", the authors investigate the dynamic interplay between Big Techs (namely Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook) that engage in corporate venture capital (CVC) investments and mergers and acquisitions (M&A), venture capitalists (VCs) that finance startups, and the startups themselves.

The research underscores the multifaceted roles played by incumbents in shaping the innovation ecosystem, especially within rapidly evolving domains like AI. The starting point of the analysis is the consideration that Big Tech's engagement in M&A and CVC activities may serve different purposes depending on the life cycle stage of the technology in question.

The authors aim to provide evidence of the effects of the corporate activities of Big Tech companies across three distinct stages of the technology life cycle: the emergence stage, the growth stage, and the mature stage. Theoretically, the paper contributes to the debate on the "kill zone" and "innovation zone" effects of incumbents' activities, enlarging the analysis to CVC activities and moving from static to dynamic effects.

The Strategic Management Society (SMS) is an organization with more than 3,000 members that is "unique in bridging the worlds of reflective practice and thoughtful scholarship while supporting the development and dissemination of strategic management insights and fostering contacts and interchange around the world."