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The role of business networks for innovation

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Christina Öberg, Företagandets villkor, Innovation, Nätverk

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.

Öberg, C. (2019). The role of business networks for innovation. Journal of Innovation & Knowledge, 4(2), 124-128. 10.1016/j.jik.2017.10.001


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Fotiadis, T., Lindgreen, A., Siomkos, G. J., Öberg, C., & Folinas, D.
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Industrial Marketing. SAGE.

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An introductory textbook on industrial marketing and supply chain management that discusses industrial products and pricing, as well as key topics such as co-creation of value, big data, innovation, green practices and CSR.

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Thomas Fotiadis is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Head of the Marketing Laboratory in the Department of Production and Management Engineering, School of Engineering at Democritus University of Thrace, Greece.

Adam Lindgreen is Professor and Head of Department of Marketing at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Extraordinary Professor at University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, South Africa.

George J. Siomkos is Professor of Marketing at the Athens University of Economics & Business (AUEB), Director of the MSc Program in Services Management and previously Dean of the School of Business, AUEB, Greece.

Christina Öberg is Professor at CTF Service Research Center, Karlstad University and associated with the Ratio Institute, Sweden. 

Dimitris Folinas is Professor in the Department of Supply Chain Management at International Hellenic University, Greece.

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
Book chapterPublication
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publication year

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Abstract

There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

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