Hi! My name is Seojin Kim. I am currently a Postdoc Associate at UMD's Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets. I earned a Ph.D. in Strategy & Entrepreneurship from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland in 2021
My research areas center on entrepreneurial strategy, nascent industries, and innovation. In my dissertation, I study how and why entrepreneurs of different backgrounds choose their market strategy, with a focus on knowledge contexts of academic, user, and employment settings. 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. I combine econometrics with historical narratives to identify the best explanation at play.
My dissertation has been recognized as a finalist for the 2022 Industry Studies Association Dissertation Award and for 2020 INFORMS/Organization Science Dissertation Proposal Competition and supported by the Kauffman Knowledge Challenge Grant and the Strategy Research Foundation (SRF) Dissertation Grant.
My other research projects investigate the macro- and micro-level factors that impact innovation productivity, firm performance, and market creation. For these projects, I primarily use quasi-experimental designs with large-scale datasets, often complemented with qualitative/historical 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.
Agarwal, R., Kim, S., & Moeen, M. (2021). (authors contributed equally) Leveraging Private enterprise: incubation of new industries to address the public sector’s mission-oriented grand challenges. Strategy Science, 6(4), 385-411. [Link to the paper]
Industry Emergence: A Markets and Enterprise Perspective
With Agarwal, R
In Duhaime, I., Hitt, M., & Lyles, M. (Eds.) Strategic Management: State of the Field and Its Future. Oxford University Press.
“Pre-entry knowledge of entrepreneurs and market strategy”
In preparation for submission to Organization Science (Dissertation Chapter)
Abstract: 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.
"Creating competencies for radical technologies: revisiting “incumbent-entrant” dynamics in the bionic prosthetic industry"
With Agarwal, R., Goldfarb, B. (Based on Dissertation Chapter) [SSRN]
Under review at Organization Science
Abstract: We revisit incumbent-entrant dynamics by using the “nature of technology” definition of radical technological systems—the use of novel base principles to deliver a specific purpose. In doing so, we begin with the technology incubation period and address the circularity in the economic effects definition wherein incumbents are definitionally disadvantaged by radical technologies ushered by entrants. We develop a framework that maps the strategic choices and interactions of incumbents and entrants within a coevolutionary process for creation of a radical technology system and competencies, with implications for subsequent value capture strategies. We illustrate this framework through a quantitative analysis of the census of firms and a qualitative analysis of historically significant cases in the nascent bionic prosthetics industry (1974-2018). We show that startups, incumbents in conventional prosthetics, and established firms in other industries built on their prior knowledge to create and integrate subtechnologies into a radical system. When combined with their pre-histories, these investments for technology incubation resulted in different modes of value capture: incumbents dominated product commercialization; startups captured value through cooperative strategies, licensing, or being acquired by incumbents; and established firms in other industries were largely knowledge spillover conduits who chose not to trade or enter into bionic prosthetics.
“Weathering a demand shock: firm downstream (non-)integration and market exit”
Lim, N., Kim, S., & Agarwal, R. (authors contributed equally) Weathering a demand shock: firm downstream (non-)integration and market exit” Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming
Best Paper Proceedings, Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2020 [SSRN]
“The Impact of Intellectual Property Rights on Commercialization of Federally Funded Research”
With Corredoira, R., Goldfarb, B., & Knott, AM. (authors contributed equally)
Under review at Research Policy
[SSRN: click here]