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Hila Lifshitz-Assaf

Hila Lifshitz-Assaf

Joined Stern 2014

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Kaufman Management Center
44 West Fourth Street, 8-89
New York, NY 10012

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Hila Lifshitz-Assaf is an Associate Professor of Information, Operations and Management Sciences atNew York University Stern School of Business. She is also a faculty associate at Harvard University, at the Lab for innovation Science.

Professor Lifshitz-Assaf’s research focuses on developing an in-depth empirical and theoretical understanding of the micro-foundations of scientific and technological innovation and knowledge creation processes in the digital age. She explores how the ability to innovate is being transformed, as well as the challenges and opportunities the transformation means for R&D organizations, professionals and their work. She conducted an in-depth 3-year longitudinal field study of NASA’s experimentation with open innovation online platforms and communities, resulting in a scientific breakthrough. This study received the best dissertation Grigor McClelland Award at the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS) 2015, Best Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ) paper based on dissertation (2018) and Best published paper elected by organizational communication and information systems division of Academy of Management (2018).

She investigates new forms of organizing for the production of scientific and technological innovation such as crowdsourcing, open source, open online innovation communities, Wikipedia, hackathons, makeathons, etc. Her work received the prestigious INSPIRE grant from the National Science Foundation and has been presented and taught at a variety of institutions including MIT, Harvard, Stanford, INSEAD, Wharton, London Business School, Bocconi, IESE, UCL, UT Austin, Columbia and Carnegie Mellon. Her work was recognized to have a strong impact on the industry; She received the Industry Studies Association Frank Giarrantani Rising Star award and the Industry Research Institute grant for research on R&D.

Prior to academia, Professor Lifshitz-Assaf worked as a strategy consultant for seven years, specializing in growth and innovation strategy in telecommunications, consumer goods and finance.

Professor Lifshitz-Assaf earned a doctorate from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Tel Aviv University, magna cum laude, a BA in Management and an LLB in Law from Tel Aviv University, Israel, both magna cum laude.

Research Interests

  • Scientific and Technological Innovation
  • Digitizing the Innovation process
  • Organizational Theory: Technology, work and organizations
  • Knowledge Boundary Work to achieve cross boundary innovation
  • Professional Identity work in disruption period
  • Team Coordination for innovation
  • Problem Formulation
  • History & Sociology of Science and Knowledge

Academic Background

B.A., Management
Tel- Aviv University

Tel- Aviv University

Tel- Aviv University

D.B.A., Management
Harvard University

Selected Publications

Lebovitz S., and Levina N. Lifshitz-Assaf H. (2021)
Is AI ground truth really “true”? The dangers of training and evaluating AI tools based on experts’ know-what
Management Information Systems Quarterly, Forthcoming.

Lifshitz-Assaf, H., Lebovitz, S., Zalmanson, L. (2020)
Minimal and Adaptive Coordination: How Hackathons’ Projects Accelerate Innovation without Killing it
In press, Academy of Management Journal

Kittur A., Yu L. Hope T, Chan J., Lifshitz-Assaf H., Gilon K., Ng F., Kraut R.E, Shachaf D. (2019)
Scaling Up Analogical Innovation with Crowds and AI
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116 (6), 1870-1877.

O Arazy, H Lifshitz Assaf, A Balila. (2018)
Neither a Bazaar nor a Cathedral: the Interplay between Structure and Agency in Wikipedia's Role System
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 70(1), 3-15.

Lifshitz-Assaf, H (2018)
Dismantling Knowledge Boundaries at NASA: The Critical Role of Professional Identity in Open Innovation
Administrative Science Quarterly; Video:

H Lifshitz Assaf, ML Tushman, KR Lakhani (2018)
A Study of NASA Scientists Shows How to Overcome Barriers to Open Innovation
Harvard Business Review

K. Gilon, F. Ng, J. Chan, H. Lifshitz-Assaf, A Kittur, D. Shahaf (2018)
Analogy Mining for Specific Design Needs
CHI 2018, ACM Proceedings

Arazy O., Daxenberg J., Lifshitz-Assaf H., Nov O., and Gurevych I. (2016)
Turbulent Stability of Emergent Roles: The Dualistic Nature of Self-Organizing Knowledge Co-Production
Information Systems Research

Lakhani, K., Lifshitz-Assaf H, and Tushman M. (2013)
Open Innovation and Organizational Boundaries: Task Decomposition, Knowledge Distribution and the Locus of Innovation
Chap. 19 in Handbook of Economic Organization: Integrating Economic and Organization Theory

Areas of Expertise


  • NASA


  • Entrepreneurship


  • Corporate Culture
  • Distributed Organization
  • Managing Change
  • Open Innovation
  • Technology & Innovation

Technology, Operations & Statistics

  • Crowdsourcing