Sohvi Heaton received her Ph.D. in management studies from the University of Oxford. She has worked at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. on poverty reduction for low-income countries and private sector development. Recently, she was also a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, where she was previously a postdoctoral scholar. Her research on strategic management includes work on such intangibles as dynamic capabilities, intellectual capital and corporate reputation, and on university entrepreneurship. She has received the Best Reviewer Award, Best Symposium Awards from the Academy of Management, and various research grants from Oxford University, the Tokyo Foundation, and the Said Foundation. She is also a recipient of the 2006 Youth Innovation Fund, an internal competition among staff at the World Bank to recognize and fund the most innovative projects. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in management journals including California Management Review, Academy of Management Perspectives, Strategic Organization, Global Strategy Journal, and Business & Society and from such publishers as Oxford University Press.
University of Oxford: Ph.D., Management Studies
Areas of Expertise (3)
Sohvi Heaton, David Teece
At the turn of the millennium, David Teece noted that fundamental changes in the global economy were changing the basis of competitive advantage. 1 These changes strip away traditional sources of competitive differentiation and expose a new foundation for wealth creation: the development, astute deployment, and utilization of intangible assets, of which knowledge, capabilities, and intellectual property are the most significant. 2 The development of markets for knowhow and intellectual property has broken the traditional nexus between tangible and intangible assets. Previously, the principal business model firms employed for extracting value from inventive and creative activities was to both create and commercialize new ideas and technology. Firms bundled ideas, inventions, and the results of creative activities into tangible objects and offered them for sale to capture value …
Michael L Barnett, Sohvi Heaton
We measure the influence of reputation rankings on individuals' perceptions of firms. Through experimental design, we vary whether and how participants are exposed to a reputation ranking alongside other information about a firm. We find that rankings influence perceptions when they are negative and congruent with other information about the firm. These findings help explain how a firm's reputation can change even if its characteristics remain constant and why change in a firm's characteristics can be slow to produce change in its reputation.
Neil M Kay, Sohvi Heaton, David J Teece
The field of dynamic capabilities has been mischaracterized by derivative interpretations of the original concept, with variation in terms, core assumptions, and methodologies. However, in its original formulation, dynamic capabilities were a framework rooted in organizational economics. We take the original formulation as a starting point to explore the relevance of the concept of emergence to the framework today. This perspective leads to a reinterpretation of the role of complementarities, cospecialization, rules, coevolution, and the ecosystem in the dynamic capabilities framework. The article concludes with directions for research that this new frame of reference helps identify.
Today's multinational enterprises (MNEs) exhibit characteristics that have not been discussed very much in previous studies. They are stateless in the sense that operations are spread across nations, but also maintain some central authority. We call such MNEs ‘meta-MNEs’ and analyze them using the Dynamic Capabilities framework, a key framework in strategic management. We find that the capability of MNEs to shape and adapt to changing environments is necessary for the emergence and success of the meta-MNE. We also discuss prospects for meta-MNEs in the context of China.
This study explores relationships between campus leadership and the organizational-level dynamic capabilities that underpin the management of research universities.
“Organizational agility” is often treated as an immutable quality, where it is implied that firms need to be in a constant state of transformation. But such advice ignores that changes and transformations, while often essential, come with a cost, are not always necessary, and may not even be possible. Our approach is to explore agility at a more fundamental level and relate it more specifically to dynamic capabilities.
We measure the influence of reputation rankings on individuals’ perceptions of firms. Through experimental design, we vary whether and how subjects are exposed to a reputation ranking alongside other information about a firm. We find that rankings influence perceptions when they are negative and congruent with other information about the firm. These findings help explain how a firm’s reputation can change even if its characteristics remain constant and why change in a firm’s characteristics can be slow to produce change in its reputation.
We conduct an exploratory study of the determinants of success in the multinational transfer of social practices. We find that though extant literature on business practice transfer provides some relevant insight, social practice transfer differs in significant ways from "business as usual." In particular, successful social practice transfer is associated not with concrete and clearly codified initiatives, but with ambiguous and loosely bounded initiatives; not with management by business units that have mastered internal organizational dynamics, but with those that focus on understanding external stakeholder needs; not with maintaining complete control over the transfer process, but with opening it up to substantive stakeholder involvement. We discuss the implications of our findings for development of a more nuanced view of how to manage social practices within multinationals.