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The dynamics of proximity in multiple-party innovation processes

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Christina Öberg, Företagandets villkor, Innovation, Nätverk

Sammanfattning

Purpose: Proximity – that is, the closeness of parties – has been increasingly emphasized in studies on innovation networks. The idea of closeness has been discussed in relation to geographic proximity, and has also been referred to as knowledge overlaps and shared understandings between parties. In most of the studies dealing with proximity in relation to innovation networks, a static analysis is pursued. Such an analysis marks how the closeness or distance, often with the conclusion that parties should not be too close or too distant, is measured against innovation outcome at a specific point in time. However, innovation processes would include how parties increasingly converge in their knowledge and understanding, and how they may co-locate their businesses. The purpose of this paper is to discuss proximity in relation to multiple-party innovation processes and their development over time.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of this paper consists of a single case study on an innovation community and its development process. The development of the innovation community over time, whether and how geographic, knowledge and cognitive proximity is affected, and the outcome in terms of number of innovations, their newness (incremental or radical innovation), and variety are discussed in the paper.

Findings: Findings indicate how geographic proximity leads to more knowledge overlaps, while it is not a prerequisite for it. Rather, it is in the commitment processes partly connected to cognitive proximity that knowledge increasingly converges, indifferent to the co-location of parties. The speed of such processes, however, is higher if parties co-locate. The commitment processes lead to an increased number of innovations, while these innovations become more and more similar. To avoid increased overlaps of knowledge and thereby maintain the production of a variety of innovations, interaction needs to occur through the introduction of new parties and the termination of previous interaction patterns. This, however, occurs at the cost of commitment, and the knowledge thereby becomes less developed and used in its capacities.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to previous research through discussing proximity in innovation networks in a processual manner. The link between various proximities and their effect on innovation outcome sheds light on how proximity, as discussed in various literature streams, often relates to similar issues that converge around the issue of commitment.

Öberg, C. (2018). The dynamics of proximity in multiple-party innovation processes. IMP Journal, 12(2), 296-312. DOI: 10.1108/IMP-05-2017-0020


Liknande innehåll

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
BokkapitelPublikation
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publiceringsår

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Publicerat i

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.

Sammanfattning

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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Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Öberg, C.
Publiceringsår

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Sammanfattning

Purpose: This paper describes and discusses company spin-ins and spin-outs as a means to understand company growth in a dynamic context. The following question is asked: How can growth be understood in spin-ins and spin-outs of innovative firms? The paper suggests return on capabilities as a measure to understand growth in an open innovation context.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a single case study. Data was captured through interviews and secondary data sources.

Findings: The paper points to that resources alone do not explain strategic decisions by a company and how spin-ins and spin-outs result from the need for capabilities, changes in business foci and temporary solutions to deal with overcapacities or lack of alternatives.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to research by discussing contemporary issues in strategy and innovation and relating them to the resource-based view and the growth of the firm. Spin-outs, and acquisitions and divestitures as interlinked events have rarely been focused on in the literature, while they remain frequent phenomena in practice.

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Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
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Publiceringsår

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Sammanfattning

Open marketing as conceptualized in this paper refers to how external parties take part in strategic, integrative marketing activities. To distinguish this more recent trend in marketing from traditional meanings of marketing, the paper provides a typology on roles and role keepers in marketing. Four types of roles and role keepers are outlined: marketing as 1) solely being performed by actors in the supplier company communicating offerings, 2) an activity shared among functions of the supplier company, 3) external parties communicating offerings, and 4) external parties contributing to strategic marketing. Using the concept of ‘roles’ in marketing helps to structure activities and actors – or roles and role keepers – and provides a basis for understanding that marketing results from what is done, not merely from who performs it. The paper underlines how new ways of conducting business also have implications for a company’s marketing beyond its borders.

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