• An evolutionary perspective on convergence: inducing a stage model of inter-industry innovation

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Marxt, Christian; Fahrni, F. (International Journal of Technology Management, 2010)
    • Coevolutionary cycles of convergence: an extrapolation from ICT industry

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Marxt, Christian; Fahrni, F. (Technology Forecasting and Social Change, 2009)
      Convergence between technologies can be regarded as an increasingly emerging trend, and has received particular attention in the coming-together of previously distinct products and solutions within the information and communication technologies (ICT) industry. In previous research, the overall impact of the convergence phenomenon remains ambiguous. Whereas some scholars suggest convergence to be associated with disintegration, entry and growth, others relate the phenomenon to opposite effects, such as consolidation and shakeouts. This inconsistency in managerial conceptions on convergence formulates a need for an integrated understanding. Within a multi-case study approach, the convergence within ICT has been observed through examining the coevolution of actors in a converging environment, and patterns in innovation dynamics and managerial responses have been identified. In reflection with existing models of innovation cycles, a model for convergence innovation processes is elaborated and discussed. In particular, the reasoning within the ICT case set is transferred onto the currently emerging entrepreneurial activities in the intersection between nano- and bio-technologies (NBT), resulting in a comparison between ICT and NBT convergences, and deriving recommendations from a retrospective to a predictive context.
    • 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.
    • Design, product development, innovation: all the same in the end? A short discussion on terminology

      Marxt, Christian; Hacklin, Fredrik (Journal of Engineering Design, 2005)
      The spectrum of terminology to describe the professional and academic field “design” is manifold. Terms like design, engineering design, product development, and innovation are widely accepted and used. Whereas some of these terms are common in the business area, others are rather used in the engineering field. Based on the terminologies from exponents of the design science as well as other communities, the paper tries to broaden the view on what “design” means. Additionally, the paper highlights the accordance and differences between the terms design, product development and innovation, and attempts to derive implications for organising research practice in such a broader context. The paper should be seen as starting point for a wider discussion.
    • Implications of technological convergence on innovation trajectories: the case of ICT industry

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Raurich, C.; Marxt, Christian (International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 2005)
      Current innovation management literature and research statically differentiates between incremental and disruptive innovation, as far as the trajectory development is concerned. Incremental innovation is generally comprehended as an improvement of technology performance or product feature enhancement, whereas disruptive innovation is defined based on technologies previously new to the world, combined with their effects on markets. The authors of this research present how a convergence of several well-known, incrementally developing technologies can result in innovations with highly disruptive character in terms of innovation trajectories. Paradoxically, in disruptive situations, operative actions must be taken before strategic planning can be made, as the industrial and economic environment can be regarded as extremely uncertain. In this context, however, we argue that this special case caused by the convergence of technologies can serve to understand certain areas of emerging industrial disruptions and hence support the strategic planning and technology management of a firm acting in this area. The case of information and communication technology (ICT) industry is used to highlight this convergence phenomenon as a special case of emerging disruptive innovation. Based on this example, the process of innovations transforming from incremental towards disruptive due to convergence will be examined, and entrepreneurial recommendations for sustaining the competitive advantage and supporting value creation will be derived.
    • 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.
    • Strategic venture partner selection for collaborative innovation in production systems: A decision support system-based approach

      Hacklin, Fredrik; Marxt, Christian; Fahrni, F. (International Journal of Production Economics, 2006)
      Collaborative innovation and product development projects can be regarded as an emerging challenge in innovation management, being partly reflected by the currently observable industry demand for support from strategic planning tools serving this purpose. A software tool for providing operationalized decision support has been developed, based on previous research in the area of collaborative innovation success factors. By applying experience of coaching a public research organization in finding a suitable partner for joining forces in the research and development of a future energy technology, this paper presents a solution taking into account the given competitive restrictions. Being designed for usage within a coaching framework, the tool provides a multi-perspective and interactive overview of potential venture partners to the decision-makers. Furthermore, the adoption of an integrated partner selection process for supporting technology-intensive organizations in their preparation and implementation of successful collaborative ventures is suggested.