Shon Hiatt

From Farms to Fuel Tanks

December 5h, 2016

We explore how the compatibility of different category expectations advanced by multiple industry stakeholders can shape category meaning and influence technology adoption and venture entry into markets. Using data on all ventures founded in the U.S. biodiesel industry, we find that compatible and incompatible expectations from farm associations, market enthusiasts and environmental activists differentially influence category meaning and impact entrepreneurial opportunities of focused and hybrid firms. The paper highlights how stakeholder attempts to grow nascent markets can produce unintended consequences by attracting audiences with divergent goals that lead to changes in category meaning and consumer demand.

Shon Hiatt is an assistant professor of business administration at USC Marshall School of Business. He explores issues related to entrepreneurship, new-market emergence, and innovation in developed and developing economies, and his award-winning research has been published in scholarly journals and featured in media outlets. An expert in the agribusiness and energy sectors, he serves as the Faculty Director of the Food Industry Executive Program, is a faculty affiliate of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and is a recipient of the 2015 Kauffman Junior Faculty Fellowship in Entrepreneurship Research and the 2016 Academy of Management Emerging Scholar Award. Prior to joining USC, Professor Hiatt was on faculty at Harvard Business School.