Öberg, C. (in press). The role of business networks for innovation. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge. 10.1016/j.jik.2017.10.001

Abstract: A business network consists of directly and indirectly connected companies, where social and economic ties help to understand these connection. Innovations could be seen to relate to business networks in two ways: they may result from interaction between business partners, or they would need to fit into, or through changes to interaction patterns among various business partners, be fitted into new or current business networks. In the literature on innovation, the incremental, radical, or disruptive characteristics of the innovations are frequently described as degrees of newness. This paper categorizes characteristics of business networks based on their role to create various types of innovations, and based on the various types’ consequences for the business network. The empirical part of this paper is based on six case-study examples from interviews performed by the author. The findings suggest links between the type of innovation, and the role of the network and network consequences. The paper contributes to previous research through discussing the role of business networks for various types of innovation. Furthermore, the paper contributes to previous research through indicating the various types of innovations’ consequences for the business network. Most previous research on business networks and innovation only concerns itself with how various parties participate in idea generation and co-development of innovations, while the consequences for the business network is not described extensively.