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Dr Rahul Kumar

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Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Rahul is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the School of Business and Economics at Loughborough University. Prior to his appointment, he was at the Imperial College’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group where he completed his Ph.D.     

Rahul has experience in the teaching of courses related with innovation management, entrepreneurship and strategy for varied audiences.

An overarching theme in his research is a focus on the entrepreneurial processes both inside and outside an organization. He is particularly interested examining how disruptive technologies like large digital platforms, decentralized autonomous routines, artificial intelligence - are changing the nature of entrepreneurship, organizational practices, and fields. He is currently exploring how these technologies are being appropriated by entrepreneurs in expanding the scope and the nature of their ventures in tackling grand challenges in the society.

Rahul uses empirical contexts of digital economy/platforms, enterprise incubators/accelerators, early and growth stage entrepreneurial ventures, strategic entrepreneurship in large firms and public-purpose organizations for theory building. He uses mixed methods of ethnography, exploratory agent-based modelling, and field experiments.   

Rahul is particularly keen to practice “engaged scholarship” and actively seek to engage with a broader range of stakeholders. Besides his engagement in the Academy of Management and its activities, he has also been seeking engagement with the entrepreneurial, managerial and policy making community in the in the UK, and the emergent economies. He has been engaged with the research and consulting projects for a range of organizations including multi-lateral organizations like the World Bank, major infrastructure project like Crossrail, and not-for-profit organizations. He enjoys mentoring entrepreneurs, moonlighting with hackers and makers, participating in start-up camps, festivals and funerals and use them as vantage points to identify and explore interesting questions about entrepreneurial processes in the wild.

Rahul lived, studied, and worked in the US, the UK, and India. When not working, he spends his time running long distances, volunteering for charities, mentoring student entrepreneurs, and practicing mindfulness.

He welcomes inquiries about his work and interests in collaborations. So, do drop him a line!

An overarching theme in Rahul’s research is a focus on the entrepreneurial processes both inside and outside an organization. He uses empirical contexts of digital economy/platforms, enterprise incubators/accelerators, early and growth stage entrepreneurial ventures, strategic entrepreneurship in large firms and public-purpose organizations for theory building.

 

Working Papers:

 

Between the cloud and the crowd: The promise of digital entrepreneurship in tackling wicked problems
We now live in a digital age. As increasing digitization of the economy is creating an ever more integration and interplay of industrial, information and social technologies. Entrepreneurial actors are harnessing unique characteristics of digital technologies into innovative products, services, routines, and institutions. Existing product, services and ventures are being reinvented.  In this conceptual paper, we explore how digital entrepreneurship can help tackle wicked problems. Focusing on the financial exclusion as a wicked problem, we illustrate our arguments.

 

Hyper Routines: The imperatives for human agency in steering new age organizations 
Organizational routines are elements that constitute organizational capabilities. These routines are actor-material-informational composites. The digital revolution, and more particularly the new developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of the routine composite. In this paper I examine cases of intelligent routines in which humans have little or no roles to conceptualize the notion hyper routines in the digitally-enhanced organizations. I discuss the implications of hyper routines for organization theory, strategic management, and entrepreneurship and point out some exciting area for further research.  

 

Bootstrapping legitimacy: An exchange-based model of legitimation
In this paper I examine how entrepreneurs/start-ups on the “long tail” - too distant from the “mainstream” referent categories – can mobilize legitimation for their new ventures in the pursuits of resources, markets, and collaborations. The findings in this paper suggest that activists can help create sociopolitical legitimacy for a new venture by engaging in legitimacy exchanges with marginal and marginalized practices in the field. These legitimacy exchanges, in turn, create traction not only for the venture but also for the peripheral practices in the field.

 

Symphony of two worlds: Entrepreneurial orchestration of routine-opportunity nexus
In this paper, I investigate how entrepreneurial actors in large organizations facilitate a dynamic brokerage between the entrepreneurs and routines internal and external to the organization in exploring fast fleeting and emergent innovation opportunities in a temporary project delivery organization. The findings underline the function of an entrepreneurial brokerage in adapting both opportunities and routines for enacting the nexus. The finding has implications to the theory of organizational design, innovation and strategy.

 

Flexing time in organizational identity: Identity work in loosening an organization’s temporal boundary
In this paper, I examine how cultural-cognitive notion of organizational time that underlines the identity of an organizational form can constrain some practices - and how activists inside the organization can circumvent this notion of time. By foregrounding the concept of time in organizational identity and its manipulation by activists inside the organization, the paper explicitly theorizes the role of agency in dealing with the temporal boundary implicit in the organizational identity.  The findings highlight how cultural-cognitive assumptions of time in and about an organization can be managed to promote socially desirable practices within an organization.