How to explore inter-organisational weak ties in a high-tech settingкод для вставки
How to explore inter-organisational weak ties in a high-tech setting by PhD Student Carsten Bergenholtz CORE, Department of Management Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus Dias 2 Agenda 1) Article 1: Systematic literature review of interorganisational networks (on-going, co-authored with Christian WaldstrГёm) 2) Article 2: Reciprocal relation between network governance and network structure (conference paper) 3) Empirical phenomena вЂ“ Unisense 4) Theoretical challenges вЂ“ Unisense 5) Methodology вЂ“ Unisense 6) Article 3: Networks in biotech and вЂ�biotechвЂ™ (disposition) 7) Article 4: How to explore weak ties in a high-tech setting (conference-paper) 8) Article 5: How to explore weak ties in a high-tech setting (draft) 9) Contribution Dias 3 Article 1: Systematic interorganisational literature review Status: On-going. Target: Sunbelt 2010 / AOM conference 2010 вЂў Systematic literature review of inter-organisational networks в€’ Systematic: (approximately) 360 articles, based on specific search terms in WoS в€’ Inter-organisational focus, not dyadic (alliance e.g.) в€’ 12-14 variables to be coded В· Methodological, not results, focus вЂў Main focus, do the articles deal with: A) The structure of the network - Metaphor, dyads, ego-networks, whole networks B) The вЂ™networkingвЂ™ interaction - Multiplexity, dichotomous, the content of the relation (cf. Mitchell 1973) C) Inter-organisational vs. inter-personal relations Dias 4 Article 2: Reciprocal relation between network governance and network structure Status: Presented at 16th MOPAN conference, June 2009. Potentially part of special issue (International Journal of Strategic Business Alliances) вЂў Mainly conceptual article involving illustrative case: Intelligent Utility, an inter-organisational innovation network (5-20 companies) в€’ Participated in data-collection вЂў Overall topic: How to handle networks в€’ Main theories on network governance of loosely coupled whole networks: в€’ В· Dhanaraj & Parkhe 2006: Orchestrating Innovation networks В· Provan & Kenis 2008: Modes of network governanceвЂ¦ Reciprocal relation between network governance and network structure, contrary to the above theoretical models. Dias 5 Unisense вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Unisense A/S founded in 1998 в€’ 4 (of the) founders still employed 28 employees вЂ“ highly educated, wide background (biology, chemistry, electronics, computerscience) в€’ Blurred boundaries: Stockholders in Unisense A/S researchers within the field Strong academic culture (Merton 1973) Basic science and commercialisation Specialized in micro-sensors в€’ Two main competencies, a) sensors and b) to enhance signals on a micro level: Few percent of thickness of the hair (Gundersen 2006). Dias 6 Signature practice: Interaction with weak ties I Present project: NOT focus on strong ties and alliances Unisense Kilduff & TsaiвЂ™s (2003): Fleeting ties may be the focus of future research. вЂўWhat organisational practices enables a HTSF to form and explore weakly entrenched ties in a biotechnological field? Dias 7 Signature practice: Interaction with weak ties II вЂў How to interact with many weak ties? (ressource constraint and how to get access) в€’ Broadcast (Lakhami & Jeppesen 2007) and top 5 star-scientist search В· Means: Word-of-mouth-method and mentioned in journals (methods and materials), and frontpage of www.unisense.com В· Target: Potential customers, suppliers в€’ Pay for hotels, locate privately, take out to dinner вЂ“ informal interaction and socially embedded в€’ 40-50 guests a year вЂ“ mostly 1-2 days visits. Dias 8 Signature practice: Interaction with weak ties III вЂў Strategic aim of visits: в€’ Short term: The financial motivation to sell в€’ Long-term: Gain new knowledge about; a) what is going on in the field, b) new product/service ideas, c) feedback on existing ideas, d) regulations in different countries, e) customer needs, f) Unisense mentioned in journals, g) challenge technological boundaries В· вЂњInnovation-generatorвЂќ, examples: Fertilitech and underwater sensor в€’ вЂў Customer incentive: feedback on products, services and own research вЂ“ some kind of userdriven innovation Networking approach makes it possible to explore вЂ“ without paying. Still resource-demanding. Dias 9 Signature practice: Interaction with weak ties IV вЂў Organisational practices/enablers в€’ вЂ�EmbeddedвЂ™ in social interactions (1-2 day visits) В· Guest houses, dinner, вЂњwarm welcomeвЂќ as virtue, see webpage), meetings located in open space в€’ Transparency вЂ“ вЂ�everythingвЂ™ is shown В· RD meets RD (sales not involved) В· Openness вЂ“ a lot of information is provided by Unisense В· No NIH-syndrome: Who cares who got the idea в€’ Non-contractual and lends out products: Flexibility вЂў Unusual, hence memorable for visitors вЂў Mostly only meet once, and further on-going correspondence is via email; Either new orders and/or potentially new ideas вЂ“> innovation generator Dias 10 Theoretical setting, Unisense Inter-organisational exploration вЂў вЂў Exploration vs. exploitation (March 1991) Inter-organisational exploration (Rosenkopf & Nerkar 2001, Katila & Ahuja 2002, Laursen & Salter 2006) вЂў Two distinctions, concerning exploration: a) Organisational vs. technological boundaries (Rosenkopf & Nerkar) b) Broad and in-depth (Katila/Ahuja and Laursen/Salter) Г† In an open paradigm, risk of being exploited in your exploration, hence proper incentive structure important (Larsson et al. 1998, Pisano 2006) Dias 11 Theoretical setting, Unisense II Social networks and search strategies вЂў Social networks and search strategies в€’ Granovetter 1973: The value of weak ties when needing new information в€’ Burt 2005: Structural holes provide access to new information в€’ Hansen 1999: Strong vs. weak ties, intraorganisational context вЂў Embeddedness в€’ Uzzi 1997: ArmвЂ™s length vs. embedded relations вЂў Open vs. closed networks, an ongoing discussion: (Coleman 1988, Ahuja 2000, Burt 2005, Hoetker 2005, Capaldo 2007). Dias 12 Theoretical setting, Unisense III Social networks (in biotech) Social networks вЂў Cf. Mitchell (1973), distinction between network structure and networking interaction в€’ Different communities = potentially different network(ing) and trust structures в€’ Inter-personal vs. inter-organisational level В· What is actually exchanged? Social networks in high-tech / biotech вЂў A number of studies on inter-organisational and interpersonal networks in biotech (Kreiner & Schultz 1993, Bouty 2000, Oliver/Liebeskind tradition) Г† considerable agreement: в€’ Clear division between inter-organisational (contractual commercialisation) and inter-personal level (exchange of scientific knowledge, noncontractual and embedded). вЂў Zaheer & Bell 2007: Usually inter-personal relations span вЂ™geographical structural holesвЂ™ Dias 13 Theoretical setting, Unisense IV Challenges вЂў Premises в€’ Broad exploration вЂ�needsвЂ™ access to diversity в€’ A HTSF has limited ressources в€’ Weak ties can provide access to diversity and do not demand the same intensive ressourceallocation as a strong tie would вЂў Challenges в€’ How to overcome the barriers that lack of closure and relational embeddedness entails? в€’ How to ensure organisational, rather than interpersonal relations? в€’ How to ensure a proper incentive system вЂ“ both in order to be able to explore and not to be exploited. Dias 14 Calls, in the literature вЂў Liebeskind et al.: вЂњвЂ¦what organizational policies NBFs [new biotechnological firms] have in place to promote the creation and development of boundary-spanning social networksвЂќ (1996, p. 441), in order вЂњвЂ¦to examine the processes whereby scientists in NBFs form relationships with external scientistsвЂќ (1996, p. 441) вЂў Kilduff & TsaiвЂ™s (2003, p. 129): Fleeting ties may become increasingly relevant in future work on social networks and innovation вЂў Laursen/Salter: much greater knowledge is needed about how firms organize their search for external ideas for innovationвЂ¦in-depth case studies and observational research may allow for a more full descriptionвЂ¦(2006, p. 147). Dias 15 Research question вЂў What organisational practices enables a HTSF to form and explore weakly entrenched ties in a biotechnological field? вЂў Focus on в€’ Context: Where the relations are usually based on contractual or embedded inter-personal relations в€’ Early phases of the innovation process в€’ Focus of analysis: UnisenseвЂ™s organisational practices (independent)вЂ“ that enables interaction with weak ties (dependent) в€’ Weak ties: Ties that you do not continuously meet with and do not have previous relations with вЂў Aim: P&G Connect & Develop strategy, on a smaller HTSF scale. Dias 16 Methodology I вЂў Laursen/Salter: вЂ¦much greater knowledge is needed about how firms organize their search for external ideas for innovationвЂ¦in-depth case studies and observational research may allow for a more full descriptionвЂ¦(2006, p. 147) Hence Г† вЂў Case study research design (Eisenhardt 1989) and qualitative focus в€’ Allthough, as Dyer & Wilkinson (1991) state, Eisenhardt proposes case(s) study research вЂў Critical case selection вЂ“ Unisense as an outlier (Flyvbjerg 2006) в€’ Richness and exploration of concept in single case, not pattern-seeking and testing вЂў Inter-organisational relations are particularly intricate (Zaheer & Usai 2004, Oliver & Ebers 1998) вЂ“ in some sense, everything takes place at an inter-personal level в€’ What is the actual relation and the actual exchange? Dias 17 Methodology II вЂў Data sources: Observation, interviews, archival data в€’ в€’ в€’ вЂў вЂў Observation: 40 weeks, 1 day a week: Seen meetings, informal lunch-talks and gained general access to interviewees Interviews: (so far) 9: CEO, CSOs, head of networking, and outsiders from the field. Focus of interviews: RQ Archival: MBA by CEO on Unisense and webpages, of Unisense and similar nordic companies (approximately 100, вЂ�randomlyвЂ™ selected) Iterative: major analytical points stem from interviewees вЂ“ modified into appropriate theoretical framework Limitations! Dias 18 Article 3: Networks in biotech and вЂ™biotechвЂ™ Status: Disposition. Target: Unknown. вЂў Networks in biotech (Unisense Fertility) в€’ Embryology вЂ“ similar to drug-development (longterm, clinical tests, regulations) в€’ Tight network and critical mass needed в€’ Closed theoretical development/improvement вЂў Networks in вЂ™biotechвЂ™, or high-tech (Unisense Science) в€’ DonвЂ™t need same critical mass, can meet in dyads в€’ Focus on technological diversification and new ideas/products вЂ“ to challenge technological boundaries вЂў Previous literature: Not distinguished adequately between these two very different areas (Von Hippel 1987, Oliver/Liebeskind tradition, Kreiner & Schultz 1993, Bouty 2000) Dias 19 Article 4: How to explore weak ties Status: Draft. Target: Special issue on HTSF in Technology Analysis and Strategic Management (Deadline: October 2009) Organisational strategic enablers, for the exploration of inter-organisational weak ties вЂў Framework: Non-traditional вЂ™embeddednessвЂ™; neither non-contractual nor embedded in inter-personal relations вЂ“ but вЂ™embeddedвЂ™ in social interaction, and open/transparent and informal setting вЂў Main enabler: RD meets RD вЂ“ a sales-scientist (hybrid between RD and sales). General technological abilities/backgrounds в€’ Opportunity for access to diverse knowledge and complex knowledge exchange. в€’ Due to diversity of contacts, reduced risk of unwanted IP spillover Dias 20 Articel 5: How to explore weak ties вЂў Enablers, for non-traditional-embedded weak tie exploration: в€’ Incentive вЂ“ meeting with the right people who are motivated; to get information and minimize risk of exploitation (Larsson et al. 1998) в€’ Openness and transparency: No NIH-syndrome В· i.e. to give in order to get Г† в€’ в€’ в€’ General technological ability AND meeting with diverse partners from different segments Г† risk of unwanted spillover reduced Org. orchestrated (not un-controllable personal interactions) RD people, general competencies вЂ“ hence complexity can be overcome. Dias 21 Contribution вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў вЂў Article 1: Issues in the field of research on interorganisational networks (on-going, deadline: Midjanuary 2010) Article 2: Reciprocal relation between interorganisational network goverance and structure (completed, conference paper, slight adjustments needed) Article 3: Different kinds of inter-organisational explorative networks in biotech and вЂ™biotechвЂ™ (unfinished, agenda for article clear) Article 4: Inter-organisational exploration, tied together with field of social networks (draft, deadline October 1.th, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management) Article 5: Ibid, 1 articles Г† 2 (winter/spring 2010).