Henry Sauermann

European School of Management and Technology
Schlossplatz 1
10178 Berlin
Tel: +49-30-21231-1520

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: PR
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate

NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2017Fire in the Belly? Employee Motives and Innovative Performance in Startups versus Established Firms
We examine whether startups attract employees with different pecuniary and non-pecuniary motives than small or large established firms. We then explore whether such differences in employee motives lead to differences in innovative performance across firm types. Using data on over 10,000 U.S. R&D employees, we find that startup employees place lower importance on job security and salary but greater importance on independence and responsibility. Startup employees have higher patent output than employees in small and large established firms, and this difference is partly mediated by employee motives – especially startup employees’ greater willingness to bear risk. We discuss implications for research as well as for managers and policy makers concerned with the supply of human capital to entre...
May 2016The Division of Labor in Teams: A Conceptual Framework and Application to Collaborations in Science
with Carolin Haeussler: w22241
Even though teams have become the dominant mode of knowledge production, little is known regarding how they divide work among their members. Conceptualizing knowledge production as a process involving a number of functional activities, we first develop a conceptual framework to study the division of labor in teams. This framework highlights three complementary perspectives: (1) individual level (the degree to which team members specialize vs. work as generalists), (2) activity level (the degree to which activities are concentrated among few team members vs. distributed among many) and (3) the intersection between the two (e.g., which activities are performed jointly by the same individual). We then employ this framework to explore team-based knowledge production using a newly available typ...
June 2010Twins or Strangers? Differences and Similarities between Industrial and Academic Science
with Paula E. Stephan: w16113
Some scholars view academic and industrial science as qualitatively different knowledge production regimes. Others claim that the two sectors are increasingly similar. Large-scale empirical evidence regarding similarities and differences, however, has been missing. Drawing on prior work on the organization of science, we first develop a framework to compare and contrast the two sectors along four key dimensions: (1) the nature of research (e.g., basic versus applied); (2) organizational characteristics (e.g., degree of independence, pay); (3) researchers' preferences (e.g., taste for independence); and (4) the use of alternative disclosure mechanisms (e.g., patenting and publishing). We then compare the two sectors empirically using detailed survey data from a representative sample of ove...
October 2008What Makes Them Tick? Employee Motives and Firm Innovation
with Wesley M. Cohen: w14443
We examine the impact of individual-level motives upon innovative effort and performance in firms. Drawing from economics and social psychology, we develop a model of the impact of individuals' motives and incentives upon their innovative effort and performance. Using data on over 11,000 industrial scientists and engineers (SESTAT 2003), we find that individuals' motives have significant effects upon innovative effort and performance. These effects vary significantly, however, by the particular kind of motive (e.g., desire for intellectual challenge vs. pay). We also find that intrinsic and extrinsic motives affect innovative performance even when controlling for effort, suggesting that motives affect not only the level of individual effort, but also its quality. Overall, intrinsic motives...

Published: Journal Management Science archive Volume 56 Issue 12, December 2010 Pages 2134-2153 INFORMS Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), Linthicum, Maryland, USA table of contents doi>10.1287/mnsc.1100.1241

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