As part of our series of TIM-troduction, meet Daniel Armanios who is currently at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA but will moving to the University of Oxford starting January 2022. Daniel, you recently won an award from TIM at the recent conference - congratulations! So…
What are your research interests right now?
My research interests are generally around understanding how organizations coordinate to build and to subsequently use infrastructure to enhance innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. More specifically, my research focuses on two empirical forms of infrastructure. The first is on scientific infrastructure. This comprises government agencies, universities, research parks, and academies of sciences that coordinate to help commercialize scientific breakthroughs. The second is on physical infrastructure. This comprises those public and private organizations that coordinate to manage water, bridge, and electricity systems.
My current interests around this are two-fold. The first is around how organizations can coordinate to help build scaffolding that facilitates experimentation through helping individuals reimagine the possible. The second is around how one's physical environment, above and beyond their social environment, can influence their ability to create and support organizations; in other words, I analyze how bridges and other forms of connectivity help facilitate organizational development and coordination in a literal, physical sense, rather than just metaphorically.
What do you think is your most exciting contribution to academia?
The contribution I think I am most well-known for is around advancing our understanding of "institutional infrastructure", or the different roles organizations play in supporting a system in ways that improve its entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable development outcomes. In particular, I have helped advanced understanding of how organizations certify the quality of novel technologies and its implications on performance, as well as how organizations serve as intermediaries that connect public and private sector stakeholders within a system. However, more generally, the contribution for which I am most proud is helping to advance organizational theory within the scholarly dialog taken place in engineering, especially civil engineering. I hope more AOM TIM scholars see engineering systems as an exciting way to advance their work as I have found engineers extremely eager to learn how they can use our theories to better manage systems in ways that are more inclusive and better handle complexity.
At the 2021 Conference you won an award from TIM. Tell us about the paper and why you think its findings are important.
I was very humbled to be this year's AOM Past TIM Chairs' Emerging Scholar for my overall contributions to date in terms of advancing our understanding of how institutional infrastructure helps advance high-tech entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as how to ensure such systems are more inclusive and operate more sustainably.
Tell us something personal about yourself.
Outside of work, I often write and perform spoken word inspired by my partner and daughter who are my anchors and give everything perspective and meaning.
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