Chasing Novelty From the Margins to the Core: A Research Journey




Inizio: Dic 18 | 12:15 pm

Fine : Dic 18 | 01:45 pm

Lunch Seminars

Via Lambruschini, 4B 20156 Milano MI

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Lunch Seminar in presence

Building BL26/B – Room 0.19 (ground floor)
Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering
Via R. Lambruschini, 4/B


Gino Cattani
Stern School of Business, New York University, USA

Simone Ferriani
University of Bologna, Italy, and University of London, United Kingdom



It is well known even intuitively that transformative ideas, those poised to upend the established way of doing things in a given domain, are often pushed forward by innovators who reside at the periphery of – and at times even outside – their respective fields. This journey of novelty from the margins to the core is as captivating as it is troubling to decode.
On the one hand, by virtue of their detachment from the prevailing norms that bind insiders, peripheral innovators may recognize solutions that escape incumbents’ attention.
Yet the paradox is that the same social position that allows these innovators to conjure up groundbreaking ideas hampers their quest for the backing and acknowledgment needed to develop those ideas and share them with the world: they typically lack crucial markers of credibility, social ties to insiders, and most notably, expert authority.
What processes allow peripheral actors to stake out some ground in the insiders’ own terrain, especially when their claims to novelty clash with the status quo?
Our goal in this talk is to offer an overview of some of the central theoretical and analytical insights we have been garnering in our endeavour to decode the journey of novelty from the moment it arises to moment it takes hold.
After sharing some key findings of our collaborative research, we will conclude by presenting an ongoing project which employs an experimental approach to examine the micro-mechanisms that drive outsider-led innovation and its framing.


Gino Cattani is Professor of Management & Organization at the Stern School of Business, New York University, USA. His research focuses on creativity, innovation, and market/industry formation and evolution. In his current research he has investigated the socio-structural foundations of individual creativity by looking at the role of audiences recognizing and endorsing creative work and individuals’ position along the core/periphery continuum of the field’ social network. Gino’s work was published in several top academic journals such as American Sociological Review, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Research Policy and Journal of Management Studies among others. He served as Deputy Senior Editor at Organization Science, and is currently Associate Editor at Strategic Management Journal and Management Science, Senior Editor at Industrial and Corporate Change, and Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Strategic Management.

Simone Ferriani is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Bologna, Italy, and at City, University of London, United Kingdom. He is also a lifetime member of Clare-Hall College (University of Cambridge). His research interests include entrepreneurship, outsider-driven innovation, creativity, and social networks. His research has been featured in several leading academic journals such as Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, American Sociological Review, Research Policy, and the Journal of Management among others. Simone is strongly committed to the diffusion of entrepreneurial education and has led many initiatives to support this goal. In recognition of his contributions to the advancement of entrepreneurship in higher education Simone was a finalist to the title of European Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year 2022, conferred by ACEEU (Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial & Engaged Universities) in collaboration with the Triple Helix Conference.


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