Kristina B. Dahlin
Associate Professor in Engineering and Entrepreneurship
Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street
Kristina holds a joint position between the Department of Engineering Science and Saïd Business School.
She co-manages the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Management pathway for third- and fourth-year engineering students. Kristina is also planning to teach a course in High Tech Entrepreneurship in the MBA programme. She is an organisational scholar with an interest in the intersection of technology, learning and organisations.
- Acting Head, Entrepreneurship Group at King’s College London
- Visiting Professor, Fuqua School, Duke University (one semester)
- Associate Professor in Strategic Management, HEC Paris
- Assistant Professor, Strategic Management, University of Toronto
- MSc and a PhD (2001) in Organisational Behaviour and Theory from Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School (PhD thesis: Selection, adaptation or chance? Determinants of firm performance in the U.S. tennis racket industry 1960-1991).
- MSc in Mechanical Engineering at Chalmers Institute of Technology in Goteborg, Sweden (Master’s thesis: ‘Market analysis and development for polyethylene paper’).
Kristina is a member of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society.
Kristina has two main research streams.
The first is about learning: how organisations learn to manage unwanted events such as competitors introducing radical new technologies that undermine your product technology, or operational failures, such as train accidents. She has an interest in failure learning and has a review paper on the failure and error learning literature, and a series of papers on train accidents and how firms learn from their own vs their competitors’ accidents and how third parties such as government agencies facilitate this process.
The second stream is focused on technology and technical change as well as on the interface between innovation and business.
Kristina has engaged with industry in a number of ways.
She has worked with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry. The 'Neophilia' project is continuing this work.
The article 'Today’s Edisons or weekend hobbyists: Technical merit and success of inventions by independent inventors' was cited in US Supreme Court case 05-130
Kristina has a practical focus to her teaching.
Strategic management and technology strategy courses are based on fuzzy models that link important but often unwieldy concepts held together in a strong logic but without mathematised relationships. These models require a large amount of data and even though each element might be straightforward, combining concepts into a whole becomes complex.
To help students develop skills in managing this complexity, Kristina applies the Confucian logic of: 'I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand' and organises coursework around projects: Using business, engineering and patent databases, students collect the information they need to measure and describe model constructs (rather than being presented the data in the form of a case study). After having collected data, students link concepts and provide evaluations and a quantitative forecast.
In the ideal case, students learn model concepts deeply, see strengths and weaknesses in the models so that they can improve existing models and develop their own. Students should also be well versed in pursuing independent projects and have developed a critical attitude to how much one can rely on different data sources.