As part of our ongoing profiles of TIM people, let us introduce Aija Leiponen of the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York in the U.S. of A. So, Aija…

What are your research interests right now?

I am interested in and concerned about the “data economy”, that is the role of data in digital markets. The ability of digital platforms to collect and distribute traces of what people and organizations do via computing and communication networks is astounding. We didn’t use to think that because Microsoft provided Windows for our personal computers, it should have access to all our information stored on that computer. Now, Google and Apple have access to everything that happens on our smartphones and they not only analyze it locally on the device but also lift it off the device on to the cloud. Laws and regulations like GDPR are only starting to address this. On the industrial side of the Internet of Things, because of such security concerns, it is very difficult for firms to share or trade data, and innovations that might be valuable may not be commercialized for lack of access to someone else’s data. This is a sort of a tragedy of the anticommons but for excessive secrecy, not for excessive intellectual property rights. Firms need to innovate new ways of digitally collaborating, which will be fascinating to study.

What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?

The word “exciting” is a bit intimidating here, but I think I played a role in demonstrating that standard setting is an important area of technology strategy research, and that we can use administrative data from standard development organizations to understand how firms go about influencing the creation of interoperability standards. Prior to this work, we largely relied on theoretical work from industrial organization economics and there was almost no rigorous empirical work on the topic.

What’s been your experience with the TIM Division?

TIM has been my primary division from the day I joined the Academy of Management as a PhD student. I consider innovation and technological change the foremost issues for social scientists to study if they want to understand how the world is changing. I have been an presenter, organizer, and participant in the conferences, a representative-at-large organizing TIM consortia for junior scholars, and now I am completing the five-year executive committee track as the past chair. During this time TIM has grown a lot, has become more connected across research domains and geographic areas, features more rigorous and impactful research, and enables meeting really fascinating scholars. In short, “TIM Rocks”.

Tell us something personal about yourself.

I like snow, the sea, racket sports, and well-designed public transportation!

Thanks Aija!

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