As part of his doctoral work in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University Bob has developed a research program focused on creativity and learning in technology entrepreneurship.
In his first study, The Socio-Cognitive Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Ideation, he examined how entrepreneurs obtain the creative ideas they need to develop innovative new products. He interviewed 32 technology entrepreneurs to generate a grounded theory about how technology entrepreneurs use social behaviors, techniques, and cognitive processes to generate, validate, and refine ideas for new products, processes, or services. The results revealed a complex, cyclical, and recursive multilevel social process emphasizing active and social experimentation. Greatest ideational productivity occurs when “trusted partners” exchange and refine ideas through shared cognition.
In a second study, Entrepreneurial Innovation as a Learning System he surveyed 172 technology entrepreneurs to explore links between learning style and learning flexibility and decision making behaviors hypothesized to produce entrepreneurial innovation and success. The findings reveal a system of entrepreneurial learning and innovation with subtle and surprising interactions between learning processes and behavioral mediators.
The above two studies along with a third study of trusted partner relationships that examines how learning flexibility and learning style differences effect these relationships are included in his Ph. D. Dissertation Socio-Cognitive Foundations of Entrepreneurial Venturing.