Title: Developing innovation strategies for convergence – is 'open innovation' imperative?

Authors: Stefanie Broring

Addresses: Rolfspartner Management Consultants GmbH, 40237 Dusseldorf, Germany; Wageningen University and Research Centre, Management Studies Group, PO Box 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands

Abstract: Industrial change leading to industry convergence can be observed in many industries. This is provoked by the application of new technologies across industry boundaries, changing customer structures and regulations. Convergence presents a particular context for innovation and technology management, as firms face new bodies of technological and market knowledge which may create competence gaps. This paper asks the following question: what kind of innovation strategies do players with different industry backgrounds employ to address new industry segments resulting from industry convergence? By analysing three different industry cases of convergence, this paper explores how firms in different industries address competence gaps they face by positioning themselves in a newly emerging value chain. Empirical findings indicate that the innovation strategies which firms follow in converging industries may create conflicts with existing path-dependencies. Hence, to overcome these conflicts, open innovation built on dynamic capabilities (like alliance building) plays a major role in industry convergence.

Keywords: industry convergence; innovation strategy; open innovation; path dependencies; resource-based strategies; technology management; industrial change; new technology; employee competence; alliance building.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2010.029421

International Journal of Technology Management, 2010 Vol.49 No.1/2/3, pp.272 - 294

Published online: 30 Nov 2009 *

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