Brown Bag Lecture:  “Guilds and Organizational Change: Contested Logics in the Management of Innovation at Rohm and Haas”

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Date: February 12, 2013
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Event Type: Open to the Public
Fee: Free
RSVP Online: No Registration Required

A talk by TL Hill and Shreeram R. Mudambi

This talk will explore how the friction between scientists and “marketing” types played out at Rohm and Haas over its 100-year history. The historical case study provides insights into the informal, guild organization of firms and the ways in which the struggle for dominance can lead to organizational change. Perhaps politics, well managed, can be good for organizations?

The talk will combine institutional logics, narrative, social movements, and process theories of organization to interpret the history of the management of Rohm and Haas Company’s research-and-development function as the firm struggled to generate and maintain innovation during a century of scientific, competitive, and institutional evolution.The story that emerges highlights the collective, contested nature of the process of organization; provides insight into the subterranean tensions—especially between professional guilds—that animate organizational processes; and  suggests a mechanism through which fundamental change in direction and organization can emerge from the ongoing friction between guilds.

TL Hill is an associate professor in strategic management and managing director of the Enterprise Management Consulting Practice, the capstone residency for all Fox School of Business M.B.A. students. Hill’s research interests include the governance of knowledge-intensive organizations and social ventures, the ways networks span organizational boundaries, the social and institutional context of entrepreneurship, and community economic development in urban settings. Before joining the Fox School at Temple University, Hill was a managing director for New Society Publishers, where he edited more than 30 books, and a strategic consultant for small and family-owned firms. He has earned a Ph.D. and an M.B.A. from Temple’s Fox School of Business and an A.B. in religious studies from Brown University.

Ram Mudambi is a professor and Perelman Senior Research Fellow at the Fox School of Business, Temple University. Previously he served on the faculties of Case Western Reserve University, the University of Reading (U.K.), and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is a fellow of the Academy of International Business. He is a visiting professor at Henley Business School, University of Reading; an honorary professor at the Center of International Business, University of Leeds; and a member of the advisory council of the University of Bradford Centre in International Business. He has served as a visiting professor at a number of universities, including Bocconi (Italy), Uppsala (Sweden), Sydney (Australia), and the Copenhagen Business School.He holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. His current research projects focus on innovation and governance of knowledge-intensive processes. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles and has been a special-issue editor for the Journal of Economic Geography, the Journal of Management Studies, and the International Business Review. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of International Management, the Journal of World Business, Management International Review, the Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and Industry and Innovation.

About Brown Bag Lectures

Brown Bag Lectures (BBLs) are a series of weekly informal talks on the history of chemistry or related subjects, including the history and social studies of science, technology, and medicine. Based on original research (sometimes still in progress), these talks are given by local scholars for an audience of CHF staff and fellows and interested members of the public.

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