Dr. Sam MacAulay is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy at UTS Business School at the University of Technology Sydney. Prior to joining UTS, Sam held positions at the University of Queensland and Imperial College London.
Can supervise: YES
My research aims to inform and transform how we understand organisations and innovation. I do this through research addressing the foundations of organisational theory. Empirically, my research focuses on complex, project-based forms of organising commonly found in construction, infrastructure and mining, to develop better explanations for how organisations innovate and adapt. Mainstream scholars of organisations, business strategy, and innovation, have traditionally paid less attention to these organisational forms. And yet they are a central feature of many economies, including Australia. Theoretically, my research makes contributions to The Behavioral Theory of the Firm (e.g. developing new, more socialised models of organisational search), The Knowledge-based View of the Firm (e.g. how design can be used to protect knowledge from imitation), and project organising (e.g. business model innovation in project-based organisations).
- Bergenholtz, C., MacAulay, S. C., Kolympiris, C., & Seim, I. (2018). Transparency on scientific instruments. EMBO reports, e45853.
- MacAulay, S., Steen, J., & Kastelle, T. (forthcoming). The search environment is not (always) benign: Reassessing the risks of organizational search, Industrial and Corporate Change.
- Davies, A., Dodgson, M., Gann, D., and MacAulay, S. (2017). Five rules for managing innovation in complex projects. MIT Sloan Management Review, 59(1).
- Dodgson, M., Gann, D., MacAulay, S., & Davies, A. (2015). Innovation strategy in new transportation systems: The case of Crossrail. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 77, 261-275.
“Creating True Novelty Through Co-evolutionary Search” with David Reetz of the Technical University of Munich. (Revising)
“The Doubtful Process of Business Model Innovation” with Anna Stephens of the University of Queensland. (Revising)
“From Cloaks and Traps to Sabotage: Design Mechanisms For Protecting Knowledge” with Dmitry Sharapov of Imperial College London. (R&R,AMR)
Innovation, Strategy, Organizational Theory. Currently, I am teaching two subjects:
- Strategic Management on the MBA program: http://handbook.uts.edu.au/subjects/details/21715.html
- Integrating Business Perspectives on the undergraduate program: http://handbook.uts.edu.au/subjects/26100.html
Davies, A, MacAulay, SC & Brady, T 2019, 'Delivery Model Innovation: Insights From Infrastructure Projects', Project Management Journal, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 119-127.View/Download from: Publisher's site
MacAulay, SC, Steen, J & Kastelle, T 2019, 'The search environment is not (always) benign: reassessing the risks of organizational search', Industrial and Corporate Change.View/Download from: Publisher's site
March and Simon’s (1958: 50) assumption that search happens within a “benign environment” has become taken-for-granted in organizational studies. The implications of making this assumption are not widely theorized, investigated, or even discussed, and yet, it often appears to have been unwittingly imported into explanations of organizational learning. March and Simon acknowledged that this assumption was not realistic—our work builds on theirs by investigating the origins and consequences of a non-benign search environment. We draw on in-depth qualitative research at a Fortune 500 mining firm to show how perceptions of social risk problematize the assumption of a benign search environment. Causal links are drawn between role equivalence, performance comparisons, and rivalry for social status to explain how social risk is generated and why it can lead actors to view the intraorganizational search environment as non-benign. These perceptions help create what we describe as a “paradox of local equivalence” that leads actors to search for nonlocal solutions. Our causal logic provides a new way of understanding the phenomena of nonlocal search; complements explanations of nonlocal search founded on myopia in organizational learning; and shows how the micro-foundations of existing search models can be adapted to better explain organizational learning. In doing so, this study contributes to recent efforts to improve behavioral explanations of search and learning by bringing the notion of intraorganizational conflict back to center stage in this important area of organizational theory.
Bergenholtz, C, MacAulay, S & Seim, I 2018, 'Hiding in plain sight', Biologist, vol. 65, no. 4, p. 6.
Most scientific research is fueled by research equipment (instruments); typically hardware purchased to suit a particular research question. Examples range from 17 th century microscopes to modern particle colliders and high-throughput sequencers. Here, we studied the information sources used by academic researchers to assess scientific instruments, and reveal evidence of a worrying confluence of incentives similar to those that drove the biopharmaceutical industry to adopt controversial practices such as ghostwriting and hidden sponsorship. Our findings suggest there are little understood incentives against disclosure in the peer-reviewed literature on scientific instruments; constituting an underappreciated threat to scientific standards of trustworthiness and transparency. We believe that a public debate and subsequent editorial policy action are urgently required.
Davies, A, Dodgson, M, Gann, DM & MacAulay, SC 2017, 'Five rules for managing large, complex projects', MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 72-78.
Davies, A, Dodgson, M, Gann, DM & Macaulay, SC 2017, 'Five Rules for Managing Large, Complex Projects', Mit Sloan Management Review, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 73-78.
Recent research on megaprojects — defined as projects
costing more than $1 billion — reveals five lessons that can
help executives manage any large-scale project more
DeBarro, T, MacAulay, S, Davies, A, Wolstenholme, A, Gann, D & Pelton, J 2015, 'Mantra to method: lessons from managing innovation on Crossrail, UK', PROCEEDINGS OF THE INSTITUTION OF CIVIL ENGINEERS-CIVIL ENGINEERING, vol. 168, no. 4, pp. 171-178.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dodgson, M, Gann, D, MacAulay, S & Davies, A 2015, 'Innovation strategy in new transportation systems: The case of Crossrail', TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH PART A-POLICY AND PRACTICE, vol. 77, pp. 261-275.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Davies, A, MacAulay, S, DeBarro, T & Thurston, M 2014, 'Making Innovation Happen in a Megaproject: London's Crossrail Suburban Railway System', PROJECT MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 25-37.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Hakanson, L, Caessens, P & MacAulay, S 2011, 'InnovationXchange: A case study in innovation intermediation', INNOVATION-ORGANIZATION & MANAGEMENT, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 261-274.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Håkanson, L, Caessens, P & MacAulay, S 2011, 'InnovationXchange: A case study in innovation intermediation', Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 261-274.
Knowledge intermediation can create otherwise unobtainable value when potentially profitable knowledge combinations do not occur because the search costs required to discover them are too high and/or the risks and costs of opportunistic behavior prevents the knowledge disclosure required to identify and/or pursue them. Based on a case study of the Australian operation of the InnovationXchange (IXC), an innovation intermediary, this paper identifies three sets of core intermediation competences - network spanning capability, organizational memory and credibility and skills as a mediator. It describes the practices employed by IXC to develop and sustain these capabilities, enabling it to (1) search for and match partners and facilitate knowledge sharing across geographical, industry and disciplinary boundaries at lower cost and more effectively than its clients can do on their own, and to (2) mitigate risks of opportunistic behavior, IP contamination and reputational damage that prevent agents from engaging in direct contact. © 2011 eContent Management.
The properties of social networks have been used to explain the behaviour and performance of diverse economic and social systems. Recently, attention has been given to a class of network structures identified as 'small-worlds', due to their apparent efficiency in connecting different actors through short path lengths within a relatively sparse network. Intuitively, such network structures should also be conducive for innovation due to better flows of information and the possibility of new connections between skills and ideas. While there is some evidence for this hypothesis, we urge caution in interpreting the results of small-world studies of innovation and suggest future improvements for empirical research. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Steen, J, Macaulay, SC, Kunz, N & Jackson, J 2018, 'Understanding the Innovation Ecosystem in Mining and What the Digital Revolution Means for It' in Clifford, M, Perrons, R, Ali, S & Grice, T (eds), Extracting Innovations: Mining, Energy, and Technological Change in the Digital Age, CRC Press, New York, pp. 3-27.