The main goal of this initiative is to support high-impact and rigorous scholarship in the realm of Responsible Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI&E) such that it supports innovation and ethics-oriented elements of the University’s mission.
This initiative is the first of its kind in a business school in the United States.
RI&E Research Program's Primary Focus
New technologies, products (both goods and services), and companies that start with ethical missions such as “do no evil” or develop green products often lose this focus as they scale in the pursuit of efficiencies through automation, new markets, revenues, and profits.
Beyond the pressures of financial stakeholders, this is another facet of how automation and the networked nature of the world are allowing entrepreneurs to scale rapidly (often without due reflection, due care, and due diligence) to launch products in the market whose unintended consequences may not be visible during development. Responsible innovation “means taking care of the future through collective stewardship of science and innovation in the present” (Stilgoe, Owen, and Macnaghten, 2013).
Responsible innovation processes typically tend to do well on four dimensions:
- in including impacted stakeholders in the development process. Views the ecological environment as an always-impacted stakeholder with special status (unlike other stakeholders, it is without agency or voice) that has traditionally been neglected.
- in anticipating adverse effects of technology at the micro (customers/consumers), meso (users and non-users), and macro levels (socio-ecological)
- in being reflexive at the level of institutional practice (means holding a mirror up to one’s own activities, commitments, assumptions, being aware of the limits of knowledge, and being mindful that a particular framing of an issue may not be universally held)
- in being responsive by shaping the direction of Innovation in response to changing stakeholder and socio-ecological concerns (Stilgoe, Owen, and Macnaghten, 2013).
As new classes of technologies (e.g., gene editing, Generative AI, implantable brain–computer interfaces, anti-aging) are developed in the future, they will concomitantly reveal new human conditions that can be exploited, thus creating new classes of responsibilities. For example, the responsibility for privacy did not arise until cameras were developed in the second half of the nineteenth century. Our focus is to help product developers and entrepreneurs anticipate the intended and unintended consequences of new technology and how it can affect disadvantaged and often excluded groups. We hope this work helps innovation professionals build anticipatory safety measures into products.
From an entrepreneurship standpoint, the initiative will explore how companies that positively affect the environment and society can scale/not scale without compromising the "do no evil" or similar core missions that got them started. Notably, the program will also explore the challenges mission/purpose-driven organizations face when commercializing responsible innovations and the business imperatives that come with the need to/not to scale and remain profitable. We see three elements critical to this effort; responsible leadership (Voegtlin, Patzer, and Scherer 2012), developing eco-socially sustainable business models (Bocken et al. 2014), and setting up governance mechanisms (incentives, metrics, oversight, etc.). The work of this research group should help ethical and mission-oriented companies scale/or not scale such that the ethical core endures and they are organized for responsibility rather than have "organized irresponsibility."
Explore Programmatic Components
Minu Kumar is a Professor of Marketing at the LFCoB and is the Founder-Director of the Responsible Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Initiative. He also serves as the Associate Editor of the Journal of Product Innovation Management. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the Government College of Pharmacy (Bangalore University, 1996), a Masters in Business Administration (Concentration in Pharmaceutical Marketing, 2002), and a Ph.D. in Marketing (minor: pharmaceutical marketing, 2008) from the University of Mississippi. Professor Kumar has published in journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Journal of Product Innovation Management among others. He has also worked for or consulted with firms such as Barilla, SAP, Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals (Now Daiichi Sankyo), Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals, Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals (Now Merck), Medtronic, Glaxo Smithkline, among others on product design & development, sales, and marketing projects.
Chenwei Li is the Associate Director for Engagement for the RI&E Initiative and is an Associate Professor of Management at the LFCoB. Previously, she served on the faculty of the Doermer School of Business at the Purdue University Fort Wayne for three years. Chenwei received her Ph.D. with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from the University of Alabama. Her primary research interests focus on leadership, employee voice and team creativity. Her work has been published in the management field’s premier journals such as the Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Business Ethics, among others. Chenwei received the 2020 Ascendant Scholar Award from the Western Academy of Management. She has served as an ad-hoc reviewer for management journals such as Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Management and organization review etc. Chenwei teaches Leadership and Influence Skills as well as Human Resource Management courses for MBA and undergraduate programs. She has also led leadership training workshops for managers of different levels in various companies and cultural settings.
Ian Sinapuelas is the Associate Director of Research Programs for the RI&E initiative and is a Professor of Marketing at the LFCoB. Ian was awarded a Ph.D. in marketing from Purdue University in May 2007. Professor Sinapuelas has published in journals such as the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Marketing, and Journal of Product and Brand Management among others. His teaching experience includes MBA-level marketing management at the German International Graduate School of Management and Administration in Hanover, Germany, as well as several business courses during his time at Purdue.
Bocken, N. M., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of cleaner production, 65, 42-56.
Stilgoe, J., Owen, R., & Macnaghten, P. (2013). Developing a framework for responsible innovation. Research Policy, 42(9), 1568-1580.
Voegtlin, C., Patzer, M., & Scherer, A. G. (2012). Responsible leadership in global business: A new approach to leadership and its multi-level outcomes. Journal of business ethics, 105, 1-16.