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Business Management

Faculty Research Award Recipient Profile: Mike Stanko

Photo of Professor Mike Stanko at the 3D printing lab in NC State's D.H. Hill Library
Professor Mike Stanko at the 3D printing lab in NC State's D.H. Hill Library

Mike Stanko, Associate Professor of Marketing

Poole College 2017 Summer Research Award Recipient

Department of Business Management since 2008
Ph.D., Michigan State University
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Poole College 2017 Summer Research Award Recipient

Q. Area of research

I work in new product development, and particularly am focused on innovation outside traditional firm boundaries. For instance, much of my early research focused on companies outsourcing product development: Why do they do this? What are the implications for innovative performance? More recently, I have examined other tactics companies use to innovate beyond their boundaries, such as collaborating with customers, learning from online communities such as crowdfunding backers, and open source communities.

Q. How were you driven to this area of research?

Since I was a child, I was always intrigued with new products, wondering, “Why can’t they design a camera my Dad can figure out how to use?” My professional experience was in marketing for technology companies, where I saw new products developed and brought to market. I found this tremendously interesting and found myself asking many questions that led me to pursuing a Ph.D.

Q. Research Intentions  

There are many open questions in this area. I recently co-authored an editorial, “Under the Wide Umbrella of Open Innovation,” in the Journal of Product Innovation Management that discusses some of these questions. My intention is to keep pursuing managerially relevant questions regarding novel approaches to product development, particularly within online communities. Right now, I am starting a project focused on examining improvements in open source 3D printers over multiple product generations. I’ve been examining the RepRap project which intends to develop self-replicating 3D printers.

Q. How research impacts his teaching:

While I don’t often teach my own research, probably the biggest payoff for my students is that I am well-versed in recent research in the area of Open Innovation and closely familiar with what companies are doing. For instance, my MBA special topics course in Open Innovation takes advantage of my background with these topics (hopefully) to the benefit of students.

Note: Dr. Michael Stanko is one of Poole College’s 2017 Summer Research Award recipients.