SONIC Speaker Series presents: Gianluca Carnabuci

The SONIC Speaker Series presents

Gianluca Carnabuci

Organizational Behavior, ESMT Berlin

Good For One But Bad For Most? How Intra-Organizational Networks Impact Innovative Performance At The Inventor And Firm Level

SONIC Lab is proud to welcome Gianluca Carnabuci of ESMT Berlin. Dr. Carnabuci will speak on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 at 10 AM in Frances Searle Building, Room 1-483. Please contact Dr. Michael Schultz with any questions.



Extant organizational research suggests that R&D scientists tend to be more productive (i.e., they generate more impactful innovations) when they occupy a central position within their organization’s intra-organizational collaboration network. Does this imply that an organization’s overall innovative performance would increase if the organization encouraged its R&D scientists to pursue more central network positions? We address this question using a multi-level panel dataset describing the evolving intra-organizational networks of 140 semiconductor firms, as well as the individual network position of each of their R&D scientists. We proceed in three steps. First, we confirm that network centrality does enhance scientists’ innovative performance within our empirical sample, even after controlling for unobserved individual- and organizational-level differences. Second, we simulate how the overall intra-organizational network of an organization would change if it enacted two distinct norms of collaboration, each encouraging scientists to increase their network centrality. We find that norms of “diffuse” collaboration increase network cohesion, whereas “star-centric” ones increase network centralization. Third, we study how these network-level properties affect innovative performance among our semiconductor firms. We find that network cohesion enhances organizational-level innovative performance only under conditions of high knowledge diversity, while network centralization always reduces it. These findings show that scientists’ pursuit of network centrality may have opposite performance effects at the individual- and organizational-level. A counterintuitive normative implication is that, under quite broad conditions, organizations would enhance their innovative performance by discouraging (rather than encouraging) their R&D personnel from increasing their centrality within the intra-organizational network.


Gianluca Carnabuci is an associate professor (with tenure) of organizational behavior who joined ESMT Berlin in broad conditions, organizations would enhance their innovative performance b 2016. Previously he was an associate professor of organization and management at the University of Lugano and an assistant professor at Bocconi University. He holds a PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the University of Amsterdam.

Stream the talk here: