Melissa Schilling

Leonard N. Stern School of Business

New York University

United States

Professor Schilling’s research focuses on innovation and strategy in high-tech industries, such as smartphones, video games, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electric vehicles, and renewable energies. She is particularly interested in platform dynamics, networks, creativity, and breakthrough innovation. Her textbook, Strategic Management of Technological Innovation (now in its seventh edition), is the No. 1 innovation strategy text in the world.

Voting History

Statement Comments
The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed how companies should think about business strategy. Strongly Agree “There are two primary ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic should permanently change business strategy: (1) The role of standardized hours and colocation. The response to the pandemic has shown us that we can (and should) be much more flexible in thinking about how, where, and when we work together. This can open up a lot of opportunity for efficiencies, better environmental sustainability, and greater employee welfare. (2) Supply chain resilience. A lot of companies learned the hard way that their supply chains were not as robust as they should be. This should provoke companies to invest more thought and resources into ensuring multiple sources of supply and larger inventory buffers. At a minimum, it probably highlights the risks of Just-in-Time (JIT) inventory management. ”
The COVID-19 pandemic will lead companies to relocate infrastructure and employees away from dense urban locations. Strongly Agree “Many companies and their employees have experienced significant loss and disruption from COVID-19; some portion of those will make major changes to lessen the likelihood of that happening again.”
U.S. regulations have been rolled back in a number of areas, including emissions standards and clean water. Companies will decide to voluntarily adhere to rules that closely resemble the original standards. Strongly Disagree “Some well-established firms that have already invested in the equipment and processes to adhere to the original standards will, but many will not. Regulations exist precisely because most firms don’t voluntarily self-regulate.”
In the next decade, we will see the first sustainably profitable private commercial activities in space. Strongly Disagree “I disagree with the first part of the statement as there are already dozens of companies profitably and sustainably launching or operating satellites, which is a commercial operation in space.”
Introducing 5G networks 3-5 years ahead of other countries will give Chinese firms an advantage. Agree “Access to 5G infrastructure and customers on 5G connections will enable Chinese firms to develop a wide range of products and services that will be more advanced than those in countries without 5G. There will be second-mover advantages for the other countries, but it could still take a while to catch up.”
The increase in stock market volatility that began in 2018 will last for another three to five years. Neither Agree nor Disagree “Three to five years out is a long window to make predictions about the stock market. There are plenty of drivers of volatility we could consider, but it is still difficult to predict with any certainty.”
A hard Brexit will have a significant negative impact on many businesses, even if they do not have a U.K. or European presence. Strongly Agree “A hard Brexit is going to be disruptive to a wide range of value chains, and those value chains extend well beyond the U.K. The economy is a tightly interdependent ecosystem. To consider the full impact, we have to look up and down the supply and distribution channels and consider who else they are connected to. Consumer spending power in the U.K. will also be affected.”
In the next five years, the blockchain will have a transformative effect on finance in emerging markets. Neither Agree nor Disagree “I think we are in an era of design substitution in financial technology. I think we will definitely see transformative changes, but it’s too soon to know whether those changes will be in the form of blockchain.”
Amazon’s new $15 per hour minimum wage will force other companies to follow suit. Strongly Disagree “First, Amazon is not the largest employer in any state (Walmart, by contrast, is the largest employer in 22 states). Second, Amazon’s employment is geographically consolidated in each market, which means it doesn’t really compete for employees against more decentralized employers like Walmart, other retail, fast food chains, etc.”
Restrictions on skilled immigration will cause US firms to to shift more operations overseas. Agree “It will definitely increase labor costs and create skilled labor scarcity in some industries. For some firms, the efficient option will be to create (or expand) operations outside of the U.S.”
Uber has to develop self-driving cars in the next 10 years in order to remain viable. Disagree “(a) Technologies that require multiple stakeholders to cooperate (e.g., manufacturers, regulators, insurers, customers) can take a long time to diffuse, and (b) Uber doesn’t have to do the development.”
A trade war will be more disruptive to business than to consumers. Strongly Agree “Firms often face switching costs to change suppliers (e.g., specialized components, contracting costs, etc.) Consumers usually have multiple alternatives and lower switching costs.”
Concern over consumer privacy will fundamentally limit businesses’ ability to use big data. Disagree “There are many types of data that will not raise privacy concerns.”