Dr Henry Lopez-Vega


Senior Lecturer in Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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About

Areas of specialism

Innovation capabilities; Organizational Renewal; Innovation; Strategy; Global Management

My qualifications

Ph.D. in management science
Esade Business School, Barcelona, Spain
Ph.D. in applied economics
Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium
Master of research in management science
Esade Business School, Barcelona, Spain
Master of Science in Change Management and Leadership
Pfeiffer University, Charlotte, NC
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
European School of Business, Reutlingen University, Germany
Bachelor in Commercial Engineering
EMI Engineering School, Bolivia

Research

Research interests

Research projects

Teaching

Publications

Henry Lopez-Vega (2021)Tapping into emerging markets: EMNEs' strategies for innovation capability building, In: Global Strategy Journal Wiley

This article explores EMNEs' innovation capability building in emerging markets. The paper provides a longitudinal account (2001–2018) of how the Brazilian cosmetics firm Natura transitioned from scant to ample innovation resources and processes. Building on the institution-based view and the resource-based view, we explain how EMNEs' innovation capability building is anchored in open innovation and collaborative nonmarket strategies. The paper reveals a unique pattern of innovation capability building based on a combination of local and global open innovation processes and harnessing the country characteristics over time. It is shown how combining open innovation and collaborative nonmarket strategies can help mitigate weak formal and informal institutions in emerging markets. The study offers an integrated framework explaining innovation capability building and the effects on the institutional setting. Research summary: This article explores EMNEs' innovation capability building in emerging markets. The paper provides a longitudinal account of how the Brazilian cosmetics firm Natura transitioned from scant to ample innovation resources and processes. Building on the institution-based view and the resource-based view, we explain how EMNEs' innovation capability building is anchored in open innovation and collaborative nonmarket strategies. The paper reveals a unique pattern of innovation capability building based on a combination of local and global open innovation processes and harnessing the country characteristics over time. It is shown how combining open innovation and collaborative nonmarket strategies can help mitigate weak formal and informal institutions in emerging markets. The study offers an integrated framework explaining innovation capability building and the effects on the institutional setting. Managerial Abstract: The increase of well-known EMNEs has raised interest in understanding how these firms build sustainable innovation capabilities. Based on a longitudinal study of the Brazilian-based cosmetics firm Natura, this paper shows how an open innovation strategy can be used to tap into home-market natural resources and connect to the global setting. This innovation capability process involves traditional market-based strategies like inter-organizational collaborations but also nonmarket strategies, such as developing local relationships, supporting socio-biodiversity, and contributing to local society. The findings point at the importance of developing an overall innovation strategy, directing attention to innovation processes, engaging in recursive practice in innovation projects, responding to the market and nonmarket environments, and linking the emerging market institutional setting and the global market context.

Lisa Melander, Henry Lopez-Vega (2013)Impact of technological uncertainty in supplier selection for NPD collaborations: literature review and a case study, In: International journal of technology intelligence and planning9(4)pp. 323-339 Inderscience

This paper combines a literature review and a case study of supplier selection for new product development (NPD) collaboration to illustrate the impact of technological uncertainty and how firms cope with it. In the review, 21 relevant papers were found after an extensive search. The case study is based on an NPD project to select suppliers for a cable for high voltage transmissions, transporting energy from wind farms at sea to stations located on land. The literature review reveals that supplier selection for NPD under technological uncertainty is indeed problematic. It is not clear from the literature review how firms should select suppliers. Some studies point towards the importance of prior collaborations while others suggest that firms should search for new suppliers and broaden their network. There are a number of aspects that our literature review does not tell us, and consequently we provide suggestions for future research.

DARIA PODMETINA, KLAS ERIC SODERQUIST, JUSTYNA DABROWSKA, JOACHIM HAFKESBRINK, Henry Lopez-Vega (2016)INDUSTRIAL NEEDS FOR OPEN INNOVATION EDUCATION, In: INNOVATION EDUCATION RELOADED: NURTURING SKILLS FOR THE FUTURE

This chapter provides a summary of the key findings derived from the survey, including such indicators as the variety and intensity of open innovation practices adopted by companies, their experience and future ambitions in open innovation adoption, and the key organizational competences defining the open innovation capability of a firm. In addition to analyzing organizational capabilities and open innovation adoption practices on the company level, employees' individual skills associated with open innovation implementation were studied. This resulted in one of the core findings of the project-the Open Innovation Specialist Competences Profile consisting of the most important skills and abilities that specialists in open innovation should possess. These findings bring new knowledge to companies' HR and innovation management; to their hiring policy, to employees' training and education practices, and at the same time, provide Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with a competence framework, based on which open innovation education can be planned. Thus, the impact of this chapter includes: 1) enhancing academic research, 2) providing new instruments for academic teaching, and 3) guiding companies in the relevant skills for open and collaborative innovation. Abstract Part 2. Walking the Talk: A European Initiative to Spur Open Innovation Education

Henry Chesbrough, WIM VANHAVERBEKE, Tuba Bakici, Henry Lopez-Vega (2011)OPEN INNOVATION AND PUBLIC POLICY IN EUROPE Science|Business Publishing Ltd
Leonardo Augusto de Vasconcelos Gomes, Henry Lopez-Vega, Ana Lucia Figueiredo Facin (2021)Playing chess or playing poker? Assessment of uncertainty propagation in open innovation projects, In: International journal of project management39(2)pp. 154-169 Elsevier Ltd

•This paper addresses a great (and not well investigated) challenge in open innovation projects: the uncertainty propagation.•This paper presents a framework of uncertainty propagation assessment for interorganizational open innovation projects.•We identify three distinct approaches to mitigate the detrimental impact of uncertainty assessment.•Understanding the consequences of uncertainty propagation in interorganizational open innovation projects leads to positive project performance.•We increase the portfolio of project management approaches to counter uncertainty in open innovation projects. Consider an interorganizational open innovation project, in which different organizations cooperate to generate value for clients or to solve a technological problem. In this setting, both the focal firm and the partners face uncertainties over time (e.g., technological uncertainties, market uncertainties) and, therefore, the performance of the focal firm and the overall interorganizational project depend on that firm's ability to assess potential uncertainties. The process of diffusion of a particular uncertainty throughout an inter-organizational project can be defined as uncertainty propagation. Assessment of uncertainty propagation can be employed to mitigate its detrimental impact. This paper connects previous studies of open innovation, uncertainty management and project management by providing a comprehensive, but structured, framework to assess uncertainty propagation. First, we propose the underlying causes of uncertainty propagation. Then, we present the three different approaches to its assessment, based on causes, effects and protection.

Henry Lopez-Vega, Fredrik Tell, Roberto Sbragia (2014)The role of Brazilian subsidiary R&D in Swedish MNEs: – towards tropicalized innovations?, In: Management of innovation and technology : forskningsinformation från stiftelsen IMIT - Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology.3pp. 6-8 Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology (IMIT)

Emerging economies has received much interest lately, and perhaps most the so-called BRICS (Brazil, Russia; India, China, South Africa) markets due to their sheer size and economic growth. However, the importance of these markets have been further highlighted in technology-related phenomena such as frugal innovations at the bottom of the pyramid and reverse innovation patterns where products and services invented in emerging markets are diffusing around the globe.

Justyna Dąbrowska, Henry Lopez‐Vega, Paavo Ritala (2019)Waking the sleeping beauty: Swarovski’s open innovation journey, In: R & D management49(5)pp. 775-788 Wiley

Even in today’s turbulent business environment, there are companies in many industries that have enjoyed decades of relatively undisturbed success. However, eventually, after such prolonged periods of calm, existing market positions are challenged. We describe such companies as ‘Sleeping Beauties’ and discuss how they can reinvent themselves through opening up of their boundaries and moving from compartmentalized exploitation and exploration efforts to a more dynamic ambidexterity model. We analyse Swarovski’s open innovation journey in this regard, instigated as a response to recent changes in its business environment. Our analysis of this process offers useful insights for companies struggling with similar problems.

Henry Lopez-Vega, Fredrik Tell (2021)Technology strategy and MNE subsidiary upgrading in emerging markets, In: Technological forecasting & social change167120709 Elsevier Inc

•We connect technology strategy to organizational capability to investigate MNE subsidiary upgrading in emerging markets.•We suggest technology strategies to be delineated by subsidiaries’ manufacturing orientation (local or global) and knowledge transfer type (uni-directional or multi-directional).•We outline four technology strategies that MNE subsidiaries in emerging markets pursue for process, product and functional upgrading in global value chains.This paper investigates technology strategy in subsidiaries of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in emerging markets and suggests implications for subsidiary upgrading in Global Value Chains (GVCs). Technology strategy is delineated by the MNE subsidiary's manufacturing orientation (local or global) and knowledge transfer type (uni-directional or multi-directional). Drawing upon a multiple case study of seven of the largest Brazilian subsidiaries of Swedish MNEs, the study identifies four different MNE technology strategy types: 1) technical; 2) improvement; 3) development; and 4) creation. The findings suggest that technology strategy influences subsidiary upgrading through development of operational and dynamic capabilities.

Henry Lopez-Vega, Juan Ramis-Puyol (2011)Connecting the Mediterranean system of innovation, In: EuroMed Journal of Business6(1)pp. 46-62 Emerald

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide a first exploratory overview of the Mediterranean system of innovation and present the results of interactive work with 25 innovation delegates from northern and southern Mediterranean countries. The study comes at a watershed for the Union for the Mediterranean, which is drawing up innovation policies for the future and debating ways of boosting core activities. Design/methodology/approach This research benefits from the established literature on innovation systems (IS) to study how Mediterranean countries are enhancing their innovation capabilities. In collaboration with the European Institute of the Mediterranean, this research invited delegates from northern and southern Mediterranean countries, programme directors and representatives from the European Commission to discuss national and regional innovation activities in their own countries. Findings The data shed light on how activities conducted by public and private organisations influence the IS functions, revealing shifting services and business models. Finally, the data highlighted the need to draw up an innovation strategy to boost R&D capabilities. Originality/value The value of this research lies in the application of the well-established IS approach to the Mediterranean case and a description of existing enabling and blocking mechanisms.

Magdalena Markowska, Henry Lopez-Vega (2018)Entrepreneurial storying, In: International journal of entrepreneurship and innovation19(4)pp. 282-297 Sage

Context and entrepreneurship are intertwined. In some contexts, the ability to craft a compelling regional identity story may become crucial for enacting entrepreneurial action. Building on an in-depth case study of the recent revival of a Spanish wine region, we analyze the interaction between regional context (i.e. regional identity) and entrepreneurial behavior. We find that to facilitate the creation of conducive conditions for entrepreneurial action, entrepreneurs craft regional identity stories. We show that stories both reflect and possess agency and propose that storying is a process of constructing new identity stories. Specifically, we identify three different types of narratives and observe that the local winepreneurs actively engage in storying—that is, contextualizing the story to their needs.

Franciane Freitas Silveira, Roberto Sbragia, Henry Lopez-Vega, Fredrik Tell (2017)Determinants of reverse knowledge transfer for emerging market multinationals: the role of complexity, autonomy and embeddedness, In: Revista de administração (São Paulo)52(2)pp. 176-188 Departamento de Administração da Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade da Universidade de São Paulo

Abstract Subsidiaries conduct innovation activities in foreign markets either to capture valuable knowledge that is necessary to adapt their products to local markets or to create valuable knowledge for headquarters. For emerging market multinationals, most studies have overlooked the determinants of successful reverse knowledge transfer from subsidiaries located in emerging and developed markets. This paper analyzed the responses of a survey administered to 78 Brazilian multinationals that own subsidiaries in developed and emerging markets. We found that knowledge complexity developed at the subsidiary, its autonomy and embeddedness in the foreign market determine the successful reverse knowledge transfer to headquarters of emerging market multinationals. This paper contributes to previous studies of reverse knowledge transfer by underlying the main drivers for emerging market multinationals.

Henry Lopez-Vega, Fredrik Tell, Wim Vanhaverbeke (2016)Where and how to search? Search paths in open innovation, In: Research Policy45(1)pp. 125-136 Elsevier

Search for external knowledge is vital for firms’ innovative activities. To understand search, we propose two knowledge search dimensions: search space (local or distant) and search heuristics (experiential or cognitive). Combining these two dimensions, we distinguish four search paths – situated paths, analogical paths, sophisticated paths, and scientific paths – which respond to recent calls to move beyond “where to search” and to investigate the connection with “how to search.” Also, we highlight how the mechanisms of problem framing and boundary spanning operate within each search path to identify solutions to technology problems. We report on a study of 18 open innovation projects that used an innovation intermediary, and outline the characteristics of each search path. Exploration of these search paths enriches previous studies of search in open innovation by providing a comprehensive, but structured, framework that explains search, its underlying mechanisms, and potential outcomes.