Resource Constraints and Innovation


Is Less More? Resource Constraints and Innovation, Special issue of Journal of Product Innovation Management, Edited by Michael Gibbert, Martin Hoegl and Liisa V?likangas; Deadline 31 Dec 2010

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Call For Papers: Special Issue of the Journal of Product Innovation Management

Is Less More? Resource Constraints and Innovation

Guest Co-editors: Michael Gibbert, Bocconi University, Martin Hoegl, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Liisa Välikangas, Helsinki School of Economics

Managers and academics agree that the presence (rather than absence) of resources is what’s needed for successful innovation on the individual, team, and organizational level of analysis. After all, it makes intuitive sense that adequate (rather than inadequate) resources are needed to successfully staff product development teams, build prototypes, test them, and bring new products to market.

At the same time, in-adequate resources seem to be behind the proverbial "Necessity is the Mother of Invention". Beyond the proverb, there is support from various literatures including cognitive psychology, organizational decline, and entrepreneurship, supporting the notion that sometimes, "less is more". The mere scarcity of resources, however, cannot be the only driver of innovation, otherwise those with fewest resources would reliably produce more successful innovations than those with adequate resources. Also, who defines when resources are adequate or constrained, and how do perceptions of resource adequacy influence outcomes?

The aim of this special issue is to develop theory and empirical evidence of the role of resources and how they do (or do not) lead to innovation. This special issue covers, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Causes of resource constraints (or abundance) and their differential effects on firm performance, e.g. what are the antecedents of resource endowments, and what are their performance implications?
  • For which resources (e.g., money, time, technology, etc.) may constraints be positive, and which ones benefit the organization more if there is slack?
  • How do perceptions of resource adequacy differ among teams and team members or managers and how do these differences influence outcomes?
  • Is there logic to the sequence and timing of constrained versus slack resources?

Papers by researchers, managers, or both are encouraged. Methods can be conceptual or empirical, qualitative or quantitative. If empirical, case studies, ethnographies, surveys, depth interviews, experiments, or combinations of these are welcome. All submissions should be sent via e-mail in a Word file to,, and by December 31, 2010.