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Research seminar | Eureka!: Improving the effects of artificial intelligence on serendipitous innovation within organizations - 11 Sep 2024

We are looking forward to welcome Professor Matthew Grimes, who will be visiting us from the University of Cambridge, for a research seminar at the House of Innovation. Please register to secure your seat.

Paper title and abstract

Eureka!: Improving the effects of artificial intelligence on serendipitous innovation within organizations

Abstract:Organizations increasingly rely on artificial intelligence (AI) to improve both the quantity and quality of innovation. However, while a growing body of research suggests that AI is well-equipped to improve innovation-related search processes amid distributed information, several recent studies offer cautionary evidence that organizations often fail to benefit from AI-produced findings. In this study, we theorize the cross-cutting effects of AI on the realization of serendipitous innovation, wherein surprising findings give rise to updated or emergent innovation goals and action. Specifically, we propose that serendipitous innovation requires exposure to new and unexpected information but also that organizational actors collectively imbue that information with significant meaning, such that action is undertaken despite the initial lack of fit with existing cognitive schemas. We draw from theory on innovation search and sensemaking to theorize why despite its significant advantages for improving search processes AI can challenge the attribution of meaning in the context of surprising information. Moreover, we highlight the technological and organizational design responses that are necessary to overcome these challenges, thereby producing AI-human interactions that allow for accelerating serendipitous innovation. Our theory contributes to emerging research on the role of AI in innovation, while theoretically bridging the innovation search and sensemaking literatures.

About Matthew Grimes  

Matthew Grimes is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Futures at the University of Cambridge. He is also the Director of the MPhil in Innovation, Strategy and Organisation Programme and the Co-Director of the Entrepreneurship Centre. Matthew’s research interests include entrepreneurship and sustainable development. He examines how individuals and organisations create, introduce, and sustain positive social change by way of entrepreneurship by studying both the contextual and individual factors that contribute to innovation and the governance of innovation. Matthew is a member of the Organisational Theory and Information Systems subject group at Cambridge Judge Business School, Academic Co-Director of the Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre, and current Associate Editor at the Academy of Management Journal. (Source: University of Cambridge).

House of Innovation Artificial intelligence Entrepreneurship Innovation Management Strategy Technology Lunch seminar Research seminar