PhD Candidate in Strategic Management & Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland
Hi! My name is Seojin Kim. I am a Ph.D. candidate in Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. School of Business, the University of Maryland.
My research areas center on entrepreneurial strategy, nascent industries, and innovation. In my dissertation, I study how and why entrepreneurs choose their market strategy, with a focus on founders' knowledge originating from different personal and career histories. I also examine heterogeneous competitive advantages of incumbents, startups, and diversifiers, based on how their capabilities are matched with the newfound opportunities afforded by radical technology. When assessing the firm's competitive advantage, I carefully consider the contexts in which entrepreneurs and firms operate, drawing on the technological system view (Arthur, 2009; Baldwin, 2016; Rosenberg, 1963). I combine econometrics with historical narratives of key actors to identify the evolution of capabilities, strategic processes, and other important underlying mechanisms at play.
I have won multiple grants to support my dissertation, including the Kauffman Knowledge Challenge Grant and the Strategy Research Foundation (SRF) Dissertation Grant. I have been selected as a finalist for the 2020 INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition.
My other research projects investigate the macro- and micro-level factors that impact innovation productivity, firm performance, and market creation. For these projects, I mainly use quasi-experimental designs with large-scale datasets, often complemented with qualitative data. I use the contexts of healthcare sectors or patenting activities.
Before joining academia, I worked as a Manager at SK Telecom's headquarter in Seoul where I engaged in corporate finance and investor relations. I also have short-term work experience in IBM's business consulting division and a local publishing company in Korea. These experiences affect both my research and teaching.
“Weathering a demand shock: firm downstream (non-)integration and market exit”
With Lim, N., & Agarwal, R (Revise & Resubmit at Strategic Management Journal)
Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020
“Prior experience of entrepreneurs and market strategy”
I investigate whether and how the sources of entrepreneurial knowledge, including academic, user, and employee startups, may shape a new venture’s value capture strategy and subsequent performance. I use a mixed-methods approach by combining quantitative evidence with extensive fieldwork. I assemble a unique longitudinal dataset of active and inactive firms created between 1991-2017 within the prosthetic limb market. My data measures diverse sources of entrepreneurial knowledge and subsequent firm-level outcomes such as technological choice (nascent vs. standard) and product integration (component vs. final assembly). The quantitative results suggest that academic startups were most likely to choose nascent technology than all of the other types. Also, employee startups were most likely to integrate technological subcomponents into a technological system for users. Through qualitative data, I offer the best possible explanations for the statistical results.
“Mapping (radical) technology evolution to firm capabilities”
This paper explores how and when capabilities created in an obsolescing industry may affect the strategic reconfiguration of heterogeneous firms during the emergence of a new-to-the-world product market. I examine the creation and deployment process of heterogeneous firm capabilities with a sample of established firms from the obsolescing industry, those from other industries, and entrepreneurial firms that invested in the emerging technologies during the nascent stage of the bionic prosthetic market. The preliminary results suggest that conditional on technological investments, incumbent firms had the advantage of entering the nascent market, and they served as the most salient buyers of the new technological capabilities through the markets for technology and control. The qualitative evidence highlights that prior experience of developing and offering products in the obsolescing industry may be critical in the product R&D process and commercialization in the new market.