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Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe

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Trapped in the frame problem? Organizing AI for growth of entrepreneurial ventures

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Trapped in the frame problem? Organizing AI for growth of entrepreneurial ventures

Ventures engaging in the context of artificial intelligence have attracted noteworthy investments, particularly in applying machine learning (ML) to a multitude of industries, including health care, automotive, manufacturing, or energy production. The so-called ‘frame problem’ links ML applications to closed-world assumptions, thereby limiting them to contexts they have been created in. This leaves ventures designing ML applications in a conundrum as they face high market uncertainties when growing within and across markets. We problematize the ‘frame problem’ from an entrepreneurship perspective and conduct an inductive, theory-building study that traced ten European ventures who created AI applications over 2 to 6 years. This resulted in an in-depth understanding of how the frame problem influences venture growth modes. Building on effectuation theory, our study reveals how entrepreneurial ventures balance contradicting imperatives between the entrepreneurial and the self-learning technology.

Hannes Rothe is an assistant professor at the Digital Entrepreneurship Hub, Freie Universität Berlin. He earned his doctoral degree at Freie Universität Berlin in 2015, where he is responsible for coordinating entrepreneurship education since 2013. He has been a visiting researcher at University of Cambridge (UK) and TU Graz (Austria). Hannes’ research interests focus on organizing data and knowledge, digital entrepreneurship, and digital infrastructures. His work has been published in journals such as Journal of the AIS, Information Systems Journals, Communications of the AIS, and was presented at leading information systems conferences. He was runner-up and winner of multiple paper awards, including the Claudio Ciborra Award for the most innovative paper in 2019.


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The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester. Our studies examine the impact of economic factors, management and policy on innovation and science, while we work closely with stakeholders in policy, industry and the third sector.

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Organiser of Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe

The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research is a centre of excellence in the field of innovation studies, building on a 50-year tradition of innovation and science studies in Manchester. The Manchester Institute of Innovation Research runs a series of regular seminars given by visiting speakers to Manchester. These seminars are open to anybody who is interested in science, technology and innovation policy and management.

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