May 13th, 2015


Our research has sustained funding from reputable agencies, such as the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. With their support, we carry out multi-year research studies and provide educational opportunities for students in our projects. Through these projects, our group investigates the intersections between organizing, communication, and technology.

Startups and Entrepreneurism

Entrepreneurial startup efforts can be seen in three areas: (a) commercial entrepreneurship driven by profit-making to deliver innovative products and services, (b) social enterprise driven by social cause to deliver valuable goods and programs, and (c) scientific startups driven by knowledge advancements to build new theories and test models. The OCT Group is extending its research program in studying scientific startups to commercial entrepreneurship and social enterprises in Project Startups! The goal of this project is to identify best practices for organizing startups and promoting innovations in the marketplace.

Organizational Capacity and Capacity Building for Cyberinfrastructure Diffusion

This 5-year grant, funded by the National Science Foundation’s CAREER program (2015-2020, PI: Kerk Kee, $519,753, ACI #1453864) is an urgent and critical effort aimed at solving the organizational challenges inherent in scientific virtual organizations. The specific aim is to understand the organizational capacity necessary to enable the development, implementation and diffusion of such technologies to create a national research cyberinfrastructure.  Ultimately, this project will develop a measure of virtual organizational capacity (VOC) and a series of capacity building strategies for virtual scientific organizations powered by XSEDE (

CID RQ Figures.

Computational Tools, Virtual Organizing, and Dynamic Innovation Diffusion

This 3-year grant, funded by the National Science Foundation’s Virtual Organizations as Sociotechnical Systems (VOSS) program (2013-2016, PI: Kerk Kee, $324,981, ACI #1322305) documents the communication processes that sustain early development of computational tools for big data analysis in science and engineering. We also study the subsequent virtual implementation of these tools, and the eventual diffusion beyond the incubators. The tools we study are mainly developed by the XSEDE community (

VOSS RQ Figures

VOSS Preliminary Findings

Estimating Diffusion System Readiness and Organizational Capacity in Family Health

This multi-institutional project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2010-2012, PI: Jim Dearing, Michigan State University, $1,669,713; Subcontract to Kerk Kee, Chapman University, $16,969) focuses on the intermediary organizations that carry the critical responsibilities of distributing family health innovations from the sources in the developed world to the hands of those in needs in the developing countries. With experts from 10 different universities and research institutes, the team advanced an understanding of system readiness and organizational capacity.