Batten Institute

Batten Institute Research Grant Program

Research Grant Program

Each year the Batten Institute solicits grant proposals from faculty members of the University of Virginia who conduct rigorous and relevant research about entrepreneurship and innovation. Their research results in high-impact intellectual outputs consistent with the missions of the Darden School and the University of Virginia. 

Proposals for the Batten Institute research grant program are reviewed by a committee that includes members of Darden’s Research and Course Development Committee and Batten Institute leadership. Researchers may use the grants — $10,000, on average — to cover research-related expenses such as data collection, research assistance, and travel. Grant recipients are expected to produce papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, as well as conference presentations and books for both scholarly and business practitioner audiences. 

The call for proposals for the 2020-21 research grants program will be published in January 2020.

Sample Submissions: Sample Submission No. 1 (pdf) and Sample Submission No. 2 (pdf).


2019–20 Grant Recipients
 

Innovative Outcomes in the Context of Conflicting Stakeholder Interests

This project will study conflicting stakeholder interests in entrepreneurial settings; specifically: under which psychological conditions such conflicts may spur creative problem-solving and what mechanism might exist for successful attempts at innovation in this context. In the process, the researchers aim to shed light on how entrepreneurs differ from managers in their approach to stakeholder interests, resources, and choices.

Bobby Parmar

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Helet Botha

Postdoctoral Fellow

 



Entrepreneurial Imprinting: Founder Responses to Conflict in New Ventures

How do entrepreneurs respond to issues and conflicts that arise in their ventures? How might their first responses to such problems influence how they or others respond to future problems? How does it all affect the success of their venture? These are the questions explored in this project — where the researchers will observe and interview about 80 first-time entrepreneurs, as they build their ventures as part of a year-long college course on entrepreneurship.


Jim Detert

Professor of Business Administration and Associate Dean for Executive Degree Programs and Leadership Initiatives

Gabrielle Adams

Assistant Professor, UVA Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Erin Frey

Postdoctoral Fellow

Eliana Crosina

Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, Babson College

Andrew Corbett

Paul T. Babson Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Division Chair, Entrepreneurship, Babson College

 


 

Marginalized Entrepreneurs Navigating Resource-Constrained Ecosystems: A Case Study of Detroit, MI

The project aims to investigate how entrepreneurial ecosystems emerge in resource-constrained environments, and how entrepreneurs from marginalized social identity groups (e.g., women of color in the U.S.) accrue resources to sustain entrepreneurial activities in these environments. In the project’s first phase (which received Batten Research Grant support in 2018–19), the researchers collected qualitative and observational data, which they plan to enrich with a natural, ethnographic experiment in this second phase of the project.


Morela Hernandez

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Courtney McCluney

Postdoctoral Researcher, jointly appointed at the Darden School of Business and Center for ASPIRE at the School of Nursing

Tomeka Carroll

Ph.D. Fellow, University of Virginia Convergent Behavioral Science Initiative

 



The (Illusive) Power of Your DNA: The Risks and Rewards of New Technology

With drops in the price of DNA testing kits in recent years, more and more people have been using them to uncover their genetic information, primarily to trace their ancestry. However, we know little about how this self-knowledge might affect their interpersonal skills and attitudes. The project will explore the impact of learning one’s genetic information on a variety of outcomes, such as leadership, entrepreneurial skills, and consumer choices


Tami Kim

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Luca Cian

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Evan Bruno

Ph.D. Candidate

Gabrielle Adams

Assistant Professor, UVA Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

 



Assessing the Impact of Design Thinking; Book on “The Social Technology of Design Thinking”

With design thinking’s continued rise in popularity, the question of measuring its effectiveness has become paramount. Part of the grant will support Professor Liedtka’s project about developing and validating measurement instruments. The other part will contribute to the publication of a book on “The Social Technology of Design Thinking.”


Jeanne Liedtka

United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs

 


 

Contracting with the Crowd: How Do Entrepreneurs Choose Crowdfunding Contracts

This project will examine crowdfunding contracts — what essential features make them different from VC funding contracts, what factors influence entrepreneurs' contract choices, and how the contract type and terms affect funding success. To answer these questions, the researchers will study all “securities crowdfunding” activities that took place between 2016 and 2018. The findings will benefit entrepreneurs and investors — the two parties to crowdfunding contracts — and inform the debate around crowdfunding regulation.


Ting Xu

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Song Ma

Assistant Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management

Florian Ederer

Assistant Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management

Former Grant Recipients

  • 2018-19 Grant Recipients

    Edward D. Hess 

    Professor of Business Administration and Batten Executive-in-Residence

    Optimizing Human Innovation in the Smart Machine Age
    This project will synthesize the best learnings from ancient Eastern and Western philosophies and the latest science on how technology will transform how every organization is managed and operated. Technology will become integrated into every area of business. Human beings will be needed to do those tasks that technology won’t be able to do well. The consensus view is that at least for the near term those tasks will be higher order complex thinking—critical, creative, and innovative—and high emotional engagement with other humans in the delivery of services.
     

    Morela Hernandez 

    Associate Professor of Business Administration 
    and

    Courtney L. McCluney 

    Post-doctoral Fellow

    Building Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Emerging Economies  
    The aim of this project is to build research on how institutional resources enable marginalized entrepreneurs to develop and flourish in resource-constrained environments. The research will rely on a mixed methods study observing how Black women develop social and cultural resources through participation in incubators and accelerators. 
     

    Tami Kim and Lalin Anik 

    Assistant Professors of Business Administration

    Keeping Consumers in Check Through Feedback
    Co-investigator: Shruti Koley (Post-Doc, Darden School of Business). In attempts to motivate consumers to be well-behaved consumers, many companies are beginning to implement a new business strategy: giving them feedback, for example customer ratings on EBay. This research explores when and why this strategy may succeed or backfire.
     

    Kenneth C. Lichtendahl Jr. 

    Eleanor F. and Phillip G. Rust Professorship of Business Administration

    Dueling Crowdsourcing Contests
    Co-investigators: Sanjiv Erat (Associate Professor, University of California at San Diego) and Konstantinos I. Stouras, (Senior Researcher, Darden School of Business and Assistant Professor, University College Dublin, Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School). Solvers’ participation and effort decisions in a crowdsourcing innovation contest are not only affected by its own design, but they also depend on the design of any competing contests that run in parallel. We study how a firm should allocate its limited budget to elicit innovation in the presence of competition by other firms with potentially larger budgets.
     

    Jeanne Liedtka 

    United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration

    Continuation of Design Thinking work including Social Technology
    This research project will lead to a new book, The Social Technology of Design Thinking
     

    Bobby Parmar 

    Associate Professor of Business Administration  
    and 

    Anusha Ramesh

    Ph.D. Candidate

    Entrepreneurship as Opportunities for Exit
    Co-investigator: Sankaran Venkataraman (MasterCard Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research). This project seeks to understand the idea of exiting a current situation to engage in entrepreneurship in the light of many other available choices. To do so, this project examine the decisions and choices that individuals make when they are dissatisfied with their current situation and how entrepreneurship as an exit option changes individuals’ decisions to remain in their current situation. 
     

    Ting Xu 

    Assistant Professor of Business Administration

    How do Entrepreneurs Choose Crowdfunding Contracts?
    Co-investigator: Song Ma (Assistant Professor of Finance, Yale School of Management). This project examines the contracting problem between entrepreneurs in crowdfunding. Its findings will inform recent debate about the regulation of crowdfunding and security design. It will also guide financial decision by entrepreneurs, investors, and funding portals. Our research will shed light on theories in entrepreneurial finance and financial contracting.
     

    Federico Ciliberto 

    Associate Professor of Economics, College of Arts & Sciences, University of Virginia

    Market for Ideas in the Pharmaceutical Industry
    Co-investigators: Gaurab Aryal (Assistant Professor, UVA College of Arts and Sciences, Economics Dept.) and Ekaterina Khmelnitskaya (Doctoral Candidate, UVA College of Arts and Sciences, Economics Dept.). This project will directly examine the process of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry with the focus on the flow of inventions from startups to incumbent firms. A large portion of the project will be studying exit strategies of small entrepreneurial firms. The project will result in better understanding of the market for ideas, which is an important component of the entrepreneurial environment in the industry.

  • 2017-18 Grant Recipients

    Natasha Foutz

    (McIntire School of Commerce)

    Experiential Design of New Products with Optimal Intermissions
     

    Edward D. Hess

    (Darden)

    Handbook of Innovation Behaviors and online course Excelling at Innovation and Leading Innovation Teams
     

    Tim Kraft

    (Darden)

    The Role of Supply Chain Visibility, Technology and Trust in Social Responsibility Communications
     

    Jeanne Liedtka

    (Darden)

    Multiple initiatives advancing Design Thinking research and practitioner-oriented publications
     

    Pedro Matos

    (Darden)

    Developing an International Dataset on Corporate Innovation
     

    Sophie Osotimehin

    (College of Arts & Sciences, Dept. of Economics)

    Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Aging Economies

  • 2016-17 Grant Recipients

    Eileen Chou

    (Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy)

    Drained yet Inspired: Resource Depletion Fuels Creativity
     

    Natasha Foutz

    (McIntire School of Commerce)

    Predicting Dynamic Competition of Innovations via Virtual Stock Market
     

    Yael Grushka-Cockayne

    (Darden)

    Innovation Interlocks
     

    Edward D. Hess

    (Darden)

    Scaling Innovation Thought Leadership in Bite-Size Formats
     

    Tim Kraft

    (Darden)

    The Role of Supply Chain Transparency, Technology and Trust in Social Responsibility Communications
     

    Jeanne Liedtka

    (Darden)

    Design Thinking for the Greater Good

  • 2015-16 Grant Recipients

    Yael Grushka-Cockayne

    (Darden)

    “Measuring Venture Capital Networks”
     

    Natasha Foutz

    (McIntire School of Commerce)

    “Idea Markets for New Products: Influence of Participants Network on Idea Sourcing and Idea Evaluation” and “Impact of Self-disclosure on the Effectiveness of Consumer Reviews of Innovations”
     

    Michael Gorman

    (School of Engineering and Applied Science)

    “The Narrative of Innovation”
     

    Edward D. Hess

    (Darden)

    “Learning: The Power of Humility”
     

    Jeanne Liedtka

    (Darden)

    “Continuing Design Thinking”
     

    Pedro Matos

    (Darden)

    “Financial Globalization and Corporate Innovation”
     

    Sonal Pandya

    (Department of Politics)

    “Social and Political Spillovers of Foreign Direct Investment: Evidence from India”
     

    Phillip E. Pfeifer

    (Darden)

    “When to Hire the First Employee? Behavioral Evidence and Insights”
     

    Saras Sarasvathy

    (Darden)

    “Further Research: Effectuation”
     

    Rajkumar Venkatesan

    (Darden)

    “New Product Launch Decisions in Emerging Markets”

  • 2014-15 Grant Recipients

    Bernard W. Carlson

    (Department of Science, Technology & Society)

    “Leading through Disruption: How Entrepreneurs and Engineers Use Technology to Navigate Change and Create Value”
     

    Eileen Chou

    (Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy)

    “The Coffee Shop Effect: Others’ Mere Presence Spurs Creativity”
     

    Natasha Foutz

    (McIntire School of Commerce)

    “Impact of Team Network Embeddedness on Innovation Success” and “Predicting Dynamic Competition of Innovations via Virtual Stock Market”
     

    Edward D. Hess

    (Darden)

    “The Implications of Applying the Science of Learning in a Business Environment”
     

    Michael Lenox

    (Darden)

    “Will Business Save the Earth? The Potential Limits of Innovating our Way to Sustainability”
     

    Jeanne Liedtka

    (Darden)

    “Design Thinking for Innovation: An Examination of the Efficacy of its Tools and Processes”
     

    Phillip E. Pfeifer

    (Darden)

    “When to Hire the First Employee? Behavioral Evidence and Insights”
     

    Melissa Thomas-Hunt

    (Darden)

    “Collaboration Jujitsu”
     

    Eric R. Young

    (Department of Economics)

    “Understanding the Return to Entrepreneurship: Being Your Own Boss or Saving your own Skin?”

  • 2013–14 Grant Recipients 

    Ming-Jer Chen

    (Darden School) 

    "Entrepreneurship and the Ambicultural Orientation in Taiwan"
     

    Michael E. Gorman

    (School of Engineering & Applied Science)

    "Intelliject, A Case Study of a Successful Entrepreneurial Venture"
     

    Edward Hess

    (Darden School) 

    "The Conundrum of Operational Excellence and Innovation"
     

    Jeanne Liedtka

    (Darden School) 

    "Design Thinking for Innovation: An Examination of the Efficacy of its Tools and Processes"
     

    Pedro Matos

    (Darden School) 

    "Do General Managerial Skills Spur Innovation?"
     

    Sonal Pandya

    (College of Arts & Sciences) 

    "Intellectual Property Rights as International Trade Protection"
     

    Saras Sarasvathy

    (Darden School)

    "Project QUID (Qualitative, Useful and Interesting Data)"
     

    James Savage

    (College of Arts & Sciences)

    "Budgeting for Science and Innovation: A Comparison of the United States, the European Union and Japan"
     

    Thomas Steenburgh

    (Darden School) 

    "The Hex of Radical Innovation in Corporate Entrepreneurship and New Ventures"