Session Details: Session 1016

The Influence of "Outsiders" on Innovation

Track I

Date: Monday, October 13, 2008


Time: 17:00 – 18:15


Room: Salon 16

Session Chair:
Albrecht Enders, IMD

Title: Crowdcasting Strategies: Harnessing External Knowledge


  • Jan Henrik Sieg, ETH Zurich
  • Martin Wallin, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Georg von Krogh, ETH Zurich

Abstract: Proponents of open innovation advise firms to embrace external sources of knowledge through technology licensing, joint ventures, and acquisitions. This strand of literature has, however, focused less on the fuzzy front end of innovation where knowledge is tacit, sticky, and consequently not in a form suitable for trade. In this paper we explore crowdcasting, a phenomenon where firms engage with multiple outside individuals to harness their tacit and explicit knowledge in the innovation process. We suggest that crowdcasting can be viewed as a set of strategies moving the boundaries of knowledge creation towards the fuzzy front end of innovation to include users, customers, suppliers, researchers, and employees not involved in corporate R&D. Thus, these external actors become temporary co-creators of knowledge. We conclude by offering a typology of crowdcasting strategies, key implications for managers, and the road ahead to explaining crowdcasting from the perspective of organizational knowledge creation.

Title: Industry Associations as a Driver of Incumbent Inertia


  • Martin Schulte, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Albrecht Enders, IMD
  • Andreas König, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
  • Harald Hungenberg, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Abstract: We work to explain the role industry associations (IAs) play in organizational adaptation to technological discontinuities. While the extant literature suggests that IAs help their member organizations to overcome inertia, our findings indicate that IAs themselves are prone to show inert behavior, which in turn impairs their ability to support their member organizations. Using field data from a case study of an IA in Germany, we show that a culture of reciprocity, high required time commitment, and low financial incentives for involvement lead to a low champion density in IA committees. Together with low frequency of meetings and resistance towards external advice, these factors lead to inert behavior of IAs. We formalize our propositions in a multi-level model of IAs as a driver of incumbent inertia.

Title: Sticky Information, Heterogeneous Needs and R&D Cooperation with Customers: A Panel Analysis


  • Gloria Sanchez-Gonzales, University of León
  • Nuria Gonzalez-Alvarez, University of Leon
  • Mariano Nieto Antolín, University of León

Abstract: The aim of this work is to investigate the factors determining cooperation in developing innovations between firms and a specific group of agents, customers and users. The central point of the analysis is two variables recognized in previous studies as important factors in the study of cooperation with these agents, but which basically have been dealt with from a purely theoretical viewpoint. These variables are: 1) the existence of sticky information (information which is costly to obtain, transfer and use) and 2) the presence of heterogeneous needs in the market. The present research goes more deeply into the study of these variables and the findings obtained show clearly that they exert a positive influence on cooperation relationships with these agents.

Title: The Double-edged Role of Political Ties in Innovation Process


  • Jing Li, Simon Fraser University
  • Jie Wu, University of Macau
  • Edward Zajac, Northwestern University

Abstract: This study theoretically and empirically analyzes the following unresolved question: How do political ties affect the innovation process of firms, particularly in emerging economies? Theoretically, we conceptualize political ties as a double-edged resource. Specifically, we suggest first that political ties serve as a positive resource, enabling firms to obtain governmental resources useful for beginning the innovation process. However, we also contend that political ties serve subsequently as a negative resource, with government intervention and agency problems breeding inefficiency in firms’ transforming their innovation inputs into outputs. Empirically, we test these hypotheses using the survey conducted by World Bank on Chinese firms across six manufacturing sectors in 2000. We find strong support for the double-edged role of political ties in firm innovations, and conclude with a discussion of the strategic and policy implications of our findings.

All Sessions in Track I...

Sun: 10:00 – 11:30
Session 1505: Innovation, Learning and Corporate Responsibility
Sun: 15:00 – 16:30
Session 1705: Towards the Micro-Foundations Of Organizational Learning
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1022: Using Alliance Networks to Enhance Innovation
Session 1024: Developing New Technologies and Products
Mon: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 1013: Linking Organizational Factors to Innovation Orientation and Outcomes
Session 1023: The Role of Top Management in Learning and Innovation
Mon: 17:00 – 18:15
Session 1016: The Influence of "Outsiders" on Innovation
Tue: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 1017: The Influence of Learning and Absorptive Capacity on Innovation
Session 1021: Influences on Innovation Strategies and Outcomes
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 1018: Building on the Past: The Effect of Experience and Relatedness
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 1014: Creating Ambidextrous Organizations
Session 1019: Working with Others: Collaboration and Knowledge Development
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 1015: Knowledge Innovation: Creating New Knowledge and Capabilities
Session 1020: When Does Geographic Proximity Pay?

Strategic Management Society

Cologne Conference