• Challenges in the management of new technologies

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Marxt, Christian; Inganäs, Martin (2007)
      In recent cases of industrial dynamics and technological change, the acquisition of technologies is often not based on strategic choice, but can rather be regarded as a required operation in order to tackle risks in emerging phases of consolidation. In particular, the phenomenon of technological convergence is examined as a special case for acquisition of technologies. Introduced by a discussion of drivers for such a convergence, its implications on technology and innovation management practices are investigated. Special focus is laid onto the resulting impact in terms of business model convergence, where creative destruction might lead to severe disruptions in the competitive environment. Based on these reflections, two scenarios for acquisition approaches are introduced. In the first scenario, the convergence causes the current internal competencies to be merged with external ones, resulting in an emerging dominant design, from of which the firm holds a critical resource stake. In the second scenario, the firm's internal competencies remain outside the emerging dominant design. Especially in the latter scenario, the relevance of dynamic capabilities in managerial actions is underlined. The argumentation is illustrated by using the case of telecommunication industry actors in tackling convergence challenges, and in implementing practices for acquisition of technologies and related competencies.
    • Core rigidities in the innovation process: a structured benchmark on knowledge management challenges

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Inganäs, Martin; Marxt, Christian; Pluss, Adrian (International Journal of Technology Management, 2009)
      A changing industrial and technological environment implies a need for a diligent acquisition of dynamic capabilities. While tackling exogenous discontinuities is imperative for success, the problem often lies in the firms' internal processes, where existing core competences might deteriorate to core rigidities. The presented contribution is two-fold: first, a conceptual framework for assessing knowledge-related rigidities along the innovation process is introduced, which is derived from the stage-gate model for new product development. The innovation process is evaluated within cases of four industry firms, with emphasis on identifying problem areas, core rigidities and resulting challenges along the entire way from idea to market launch. Secondly, the challenges are clustered, providing a basis for deriving optimisation approaches, as well as summarised and compared across the cases. In all phases of the innovation process, the benchmark with other firms seems to ease the process of creating awareness on rigidities and to provide a basis for managerial improvement.
    • Knowledge management with focus on the innovation process in collaborative networking companies

      Inganäs, Martin; Hacklin, Fredrik; Pluss, Adrian; Marxt, Christian (International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 2006)
      Knowledge lies at the very heart of innovation. A company's ability to create, store and transfer knowledge about technologies, customer needs and the innovation process itself may well determine success in bringing new products or services to the market. Yet, little is known as to how companies treat these issues in practice. This paper presents the results of a research project assessing practices and challenges for innovation-oriented knowledge management within four global technology-based companies in Switzerland. Results are discussed from both company-internal and external network perspectives. For company-internal knowledge management, broad differences in terms of both practices and challenges were found between the companies mainly because of different ways of implementing the innovation process and very different company cultures. Common issues included poor implementation of post-project reviews as well as a need for better integrating market and customer knowledge into all stages of the innovation process. For the external perspective, a more homogenous picture emerged where companies network with different partners throughout the innovation process and where knowledge creation and transfer were substantially greater for long-term partnerships.
    • Sponsored, contract and collaborative research: a framework for science-industry knowledge transfer

      Inganäs, Martin; Hacklin, Fredrik; Marxt, Christian (International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2009)
      Using the knowledge-based view of the firm, this paper contributes to improving our understanding of science-industry interaction. Based on research in the Swiss biotech sector, it provides a categorisation of three forms of interaction – sponsored, contract and collaborative research. Taking the process of knowledge transfer, interaction context, and knowledge context into account, the results indicate that these forms of interaction involve distinct ways of organising science?industry knowledge transfer. Arguing that the management of these interactions involves finding a delicate balance between structure and freedom, we suggest that the optimal managerial approach is contingent upon the form of interaction.