International Journal of Technology Management (23 papers in press)
Product attributes and digital innovation performance: The importance of country and firm level supporting environment
by Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas, Tejovathi Inamanamelluri, Qi Zou
Abstract: The emergence of digital technology has changed the structure and functions of products. Digitalized products are connectable with digital resources, reprogrammable for personal customization, and upgradable for continuous improvement. Digital innovation (DI) not only makes industrial products capable of serving various customers needs, but also brings great challenges to companies. In the literature, DI critical success factors remain uncovered, so do the environmental conditions that support DI. In this paper, we developed a theoretical model that identifies product attributes (e.g. product modularity, upgradability, usage frequency, and uniqueness) that have effects on product DI performance. Further, we elaborated the importance of establishing and selecting appropriate environment at country level (e.g. degree of uncertainty avoidance and degree of technology proficiency), and firm level (e.g. strategy, resources, and structure) for DI. Essentially, this study suggests that interaction effects of product attributes and supporting environments could significantly improve product DI performance.
Keywords: Digital innovation; product modularity; product upgradability; product usage frequency; product uniqueness; digital innovation supporting environment; digital innovation performance.
Resources in Space and Asteroid Mining: Where We Are and Which Challenges Should Be Expected
by José Antonio Peña-Ramos, Fernando Rafael Ramírez-de Luis
Abstract: Asteroid mining is being presented by the media in an optimistic light, with claims about imminent massive investment, a legion of entrepreneurs with their eyes put on a potentially lucrative industry, and a future full of possibilities both for the technologic sector and for the development of a whole new way of doing business with natural resources. But is this a scramble for space a possibility, at least in the short term, or just another dystopian exaggeration doomed to oblivion? In this article we try to present a sobering thought on this phenomenon by assessing three key elements of space mining: the state of technology, whether there is adequate regulation of this flourishing industry, be it at the national or the international level, and the interests which are at stake should the space mining sector finally take off, and how they may develop over time, especially in a conflictive manner.
Keywords: technology; asteroid mining; natural resources; regulation; investment; entrepreneurs; business; conflicts.
STUDYING THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG HUMAN CAPITAL, TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITIES, AND INNOVATION IN SPANISH MANUFACTURING FIRMS
by Daniel Jimenez-Jimenez, Raquel Sanz-Valle
Abstract: This paper focuses on the relationships among human capital, technological capabilities and innovation. In particular, following the resource-based view and the dynamic capabilities approach, this research proposes that both technological capabilities and human capital are drivers of innovation for both products and processes. In addition, it suggests that the effect of human capital on innovation is mediated by technological capabilities. This idea about mediation arises from a review of the literature, although it has never been specifically addressed. The research uses a sample of 200 Spanish manufacturing firms to test the hypotheses. Findings provide evidence of the direct effect proposed and also show that the relationship between human capital and both product and process innovation is mediated by technological capabilities. However, according to our findings, this mediation is only partial for product innovation. The implications of these results for academia as well as for practitioners are discussed.
Keywords: Technological capabilities; human capital; process innovation; product innovation.
Can a technology turn (also) into a symbol? The 3D printers case
by Claudio Fassio, Luca Grilli
Abstract: The 3D printing industry has been recently affected by two events: the fact that Open Source (OS) business models are getting momentum, and the widespread diffusion of the Maker Movement. We argue that 3D printers can be conceptualized as innovations which embody both technological and symbolic aspects. If innovations of the first type are solely adopted for their technical utility, innovations which have also symbolic connotation may confer a new social meaning to an item. By analyzing an international sample of 3D printer users, we highlight that adoption of 3D proprietary printers are driven by technologically-rooted considerations, while adherence to the Maker Movement is a key factor behind the adoption of 3D OS printers.
Keywords: 3D printers; New business models; Social movements.
Understanding Technology Transition: A Cross-Cultural Study on the Transition from PCs to Tablet Computers
by Rahul Thakurta, Nils Urbach, Anamitra Basu
Abstract: The developments in information technology which we are witnessing currently have resulted in new technologies as a replacement to those that are in use. This has led to users resorting to these new technologies, often in parallel to the existing offerings. These users then later decide whether to switch to the new technologies fully or continue using the already existing ones. This act of moving from one technology to another is referred to as technology transition. In this paper, drawing on theories on social psychology, we present a theoretical model for explaining technology transition from an individuals perspective in two geographies (Germany and India). Based on survey responses in the two geographies, we validate the model and demonstrate the country-specific factors influencing an individuals intention to transition to a tablet computer from a conventional computing device. The investigation of technology transition at the individual level is also a contribution to the cross-cultural stream of research and provides a basis for further inquiry in this field.
Keywords: Digital Innovation; Human Behavior and IT; Tablet Computer; Technology Transition; Technology Usage.
Identifying technological competition situations for artificial intelligence technology - a patent landscape analysis
by Xin Li, Mingjie Fan, Zheng Liang
Abstract: Artificial intelligence (AI) technology is a new focus for international competition, with countries around the world accelerating major outlay to enhance their innovation competitiveness. Identifying the global situation of AI technology is a strategic issue for enterprises and countries. Considering current deficiencies in research directed towards this, the content for analyzing technological competition situations should be determined from the two most relevant levels of (1) technologys dimension and (2) research and development (R&D) actors dimension, with time (T), market (M), technology (T) and subject (S) as its four elements. This paper, therefore, proposes an analytical framework of technological competition situation, based on the four dimensions of TMTS. AI technology is taken as an example to verify the feasibility and effectiveness of the analytical framework. This study finds that the USA, Japan, and South Korea entered the AI technology field earlier than others. These countries have been very active in R&D work in field generally and have deployed their patents in different fields of AI technology. Cooperation between the main R&D bodies of these countries have already collaborated closely enough in the field of AI technology to form a relatively complete R&D cooperation network. Especially in the USA, not only is there a large number of core patents, but the cooperation density and intensity between its main R&D bodies are also stronger. Although China has been active in the R&D field of AI technology in recent years, the quality and layout of patents in the field of AI technology, and the density and intensity of cooperation between R&D entities need to be strengthened. This paper will contribute to our understanding of the global competitive situation of AI technology, and will be of interest to AI technologys R&D experts.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Patent analysis; Four-dimensional analysis; Competitive situation.
Does the way in which a firm interacts with its network partners influence its formulation of product innovation strategies?
by Xuefeng LIU, Jing Cai, Alison Smart
Abstract: This paper examines how network embeddedness influences firms formulation of product innovation strategies. We explored firms interactions with two types of network partners (business partners and technical partners) along two dimensions (relational and structural) of network embeddedness. The moderating effect of change dynamics on the interplay between network embeddedness and firms strategy formulation was also examined. Data were collected from 310 firms in five Chinese high-tech and three traditional manufacturing industries. Our findings indicate that strong, weak and non-redundant contacts are conducive to the formulation of product innovation strategies. Firms interaction with technical and business partners is also positively associated with the strategy formulation. However, geographic dispersion of partners has no impact. In addition, although technological dynamics exert a positive moderating effect on the relationship between network embeddedness and the formulation of product innovation strategies, radical changes in market conditions had no impact on firms engagement with network contacts, and consequently on strategy formulation.
Keywords: network embeddedness; the formulation of product innovation strategy; change dynamics; emerging economy.
The Influences of Characteristics of Three Intrafirm Networks on Firm Exploitative and Exploratory Innovation
by Guiyang Zhang, Chaoying Tang
Abstract: Existing literature suggests that firm innovation is embedded in the social network of R&D cooperation between employees and the knowledge network of co-application between knowledge elements. We additionally investigate a two-mode network composed of linkage between employees and knowledge elements, namely the employee-knowledge network. Using the patent information of 39 Chinese high-tech firms from the pharmaceutical, automobile, electronics, and telecommunication industries, we construct three intrafirm networks, namely employee cooperative network, knowledge network, and employee-knowledge network, extract network characteristics, including tie quantity, tie heterogeneity, and tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents, and examine their influences on firm innovation. The findings suggest that ties of employee cooperative network and employee-knowledge network positively impact firm exploitative innovation rather than exploratory innovation, while ties of knowledge network positively impact both types of firm innovation. Tie heterogeneity of all three networks positively impacts on firm exploitative as well as exploratory innovation. Tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents of knowledge network and employee-knowledge network positively impact firm exploratory innovation rather than the exploitative one, while tie proportion of preexisting agents with new agents of employee cooperative network positively impacts both types of firm innovation.
Keywords: employee cooperative network; knowledge network; employee-knowledge network; firm exploitative innovation; firm exploratory innovation.
An Application of the Theory of Collective Action to Large-Scale International
Science Projects: Managing the Enlargement of the Fusion Community from Eleven
to Thirty-Five Countries
by Marco Vincenzi, Barry Shore
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to show that the theory of collective action provides plausible solutions to mitigate the appropriability problem in the management of Large-Scale International Science Projects (LISPs). First, this paper presents a comparative case study of two LISPs in nuclear fusion: the successes of the Joint European Torus (JET) project and the shortfalls of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. Second, it applies the break-fix model to ITER to identify seven management issues that caused its scientific progress to reach the breaking point, and to introduce seven design principles derived from the theory of collective action in an attempt to fix its problems. Third, this paper outlines seven practical managerial applications of the theory of collective action that provide insightful contributions to the discipline of megaproject management.
Keywords: Large-Scale International Science Projects; JET; ITER; Break-Fix Model; Collective Action; Appropriability Problem; Authority Rules; Boundary Rules; Aggregation Rules; Position Rules; Information Rules; Scope Rules; Payoff Rules.
Capitalizing new knowledge through R&D alliances: Evidence from Catalan technology centres
by Jasmina Berbegal-Mirabent, Rocio De La Torre, Dolors Gil-Doménech
Abstract: Science-industry R&D alliances have been a longstanding object of analysis in the literature as they are reinforced by the changing global economy and the fast-moving nature of technological research. In order to advance knowledge on how these alliances should be designed and managed, this paper examines whether the factors most valued by technology centres to engage in science-industry R&D alliances have an impact on the success of the alliance: planning, partner profile, trust and commitment, IPR protection issues and communication channels. The empirical application considers 58 technology centres located in the Spanish region of Catalonia from which data were collected. First, using factor analysis, we validate that items included in the survey are indeed grouped in the five factors identified in the literature review. Second, we use qualitative comparative analysis to test which combination of factors best explains successful R&D alliances.
Keywords: science-industry; R&D alliance; knowledge transfer; technology centre.
Understanding outsourcing strategy within the Intellectual Property industry a proposed typology
by Sevim Süzeroglu-Melchiors, Oliver Gassmann
Abstract: Outsourcing has gained much importance in managerial practice and academic discussion. This paper investigates the phenomenon of outsourcing of knowledge based work, particularly of Intellectual Property (IP). Using data from 36 cases, the analysis reveals a distinct typology of IP outsourcers based on a cost model and the firms IP outsourcing strategy. Four in-depth case studies are analysed: Non-Outsourcer, Transaction Cost Outsourcer, Expertise Outsourcer, and Strategic Outsourcer. The differentiated analysis reveals trade-offs and both positive and negative effects of the IP outsourcing strategy. We suggest that firms need a differentiated approach based on the type of IP work (legal versus non-legal) and outsourcing breadth (number of outsourced IP services) to manage Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) with external suppliers most efficiently. We conclude by providing practitioners five important lessons for the outsourcing of IP activities.
Keywords: Intellectual Property (IP) Management; Outsourcing; Patents.
Special Issue on: Artificial Intelligence, Entrepreneurial Development and Innovation
Dynamic Governance of Social Network Based on Dynamic Optimization Algorithm: A New Perspective of AI system
by Fengzhang Chen, Fengwen Chen, Fangnan Liao, Lu Zhang, Jing Zhang
Abstract: This study optimizes the dynamic evolution of an entrepreneurial social network. Exploiting a dynamic optimization algorithm-based (DOA-based) AI system as the exploratory model and unique customer-purchase-level big data based on Hadoop, we can maximize start-ups revenue while minimizing the dynamic governing cost of a social network to select the right time to evolve the entrepreneurial social network in the context of uncertainty in customer behaviour and the response of the social network. We find that the dynamic optimization algorithm can effectively improve the dynamic governance of social networks through empirical testing of a real start-ups social network evolution problem. Moreover, the improvement is affected by the exploration efficiency, evolution efficiency, unit resource reliance cost, revenue and profit. These findings are of great importance for exploring the roles played by artificial intelligence in entrepreneurial social networks, including measurement, dynamic research and governance.
Keywords: dynamic optimization; social network; network dynamism; dynamic network governance; AI system.
How to become the chosen one in the artificial intelligence market: The evidence from China
by Jizhen Li, Zixu Liu, Jianghua Zhou
Abstract: This study aims to explore how firms innovation performance is related to their possibility of receiving public support, and the boundary conditions of this relationship. Specifically, we focus on the firms in the Chinese Artificial Intelligence (AI) market, and study a specific public support, namely, Innofund. The results suggest that a firms innovation performance has an inverted U-shaped effect on its probability of receiving Innofund. The effect, moreover, is moderated by whether a firm has received social investment, that is, the relationship between innovation performance and the probability of receiving funding is flattened by the receipt of social investment. Besides, a firms ties to institutional intermediaries further strengthens the moderating effect of social investment. The findings carry implications for future research and technology policy.
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence market; small- and medium-sized enterprises; innovation performance; social investment; institutional intermediaries; public funding; Innofund; signalling effects.
How Does Human Resource Departments Client Relationship Management Affect Sustainable Enterprise Performancein the Context of Artificial Intelligence?
by Xiaoling Wang, Ni Lei, Yunzhang , Lin JIang
Abstract: Artificial intelligence(AI) has penetrated into many fields. How to construct strategic human resources management practices under the background of AI technology has gained great attentions from many researchers in the world. Consequently, the conception of human resource departments client relationship management (HRDCRM) has been put forward. HRDCRM is a focus topic in the practice areas of strategic human resource management. This paper introduced relational capital as a mediating variable and collected two-wave lagged data (N = 235) from the enterprises located in eastern and southern China to conduct an empirical research on relational capitals mediate role by which HRDCRM influences sustainable enterprise performance. Empirical results reveal that under the control of enterprises ownership and lifecycle-stage, relational capital plays a partial mediate role in the influence of HRDCRM on sustainable enterprise performance. Therefore, the key to improving sustainable enterprise performance is developing the level of HRDCRM and promoting harmonious development between HRDCRM and relational capital.
Keywords: Human Resource Department’s Client Relationship Management; Sustainable Enterprise Performance; Artificial Intelligence; Relational Capital.
A photo-sharing social network based on blockchain technology
by Jiang DUAN, Li KANG, Zhi CHEN, Tao PENG, Yifeng WANG
Abstract: The online social networks have greatly transformed the way that people interact with each other, and have salient impact on our lives. However, there exist common security challenges and limitations in attracting users activities due to the centralized structure of current online social networks. To address the security challenges and limitations of current online social networks, we exploit the blockchain technology to design a new photo-sharing social network, in which users social behaviors are stored in the blockchain in the form of transactions. Blockchain technology allows the authenticity and credibility of data to be improved and precludes data tampering. To reduce the efficiency limitation caused by transaction confirmation delays on the public chain, we design a new blockchain consensus algorithm to support fast and frequent transactions. Moreover, a new incentive model is designed to quantify the contribution of user in a more accurate and trustworthy way, thereafter, reward the user with financial incentives, as well as enable the user to easily control and claim the ownership of every photos they share to the network.
Keywords: Blockchain; online social network; photo-sharing social network; decentralized network; incentive model.
Special Issue on: Emerging Research Issues in the Field of Frugal Innovation
The Role of Frugal Innovation in the Global Diffusion of Green Technologies
by Carsten Gandenberger, Henning Kroll, Rainer Walz
Abstract: The paper suggests that the debate on sustainable development and sustainable innovation could profit from the concept of frugal innovation, because both concepts acknowledge the limitations of a resource-constrained world. The complex relationship between frugal innovation and sustainable innovation is explored in conceptual terms and results in criteria which denote potential overlaps between both concepts. Furthermore, the paper analyses world trade data of green technologies to demonstrate the increasing relevance of South-South and North-South trade and to derive implications for frugal innovation. Moreover, case studies of frugal and sustainable innovations are analysed in order to highlight their requirements and implications. Maybe the most important conclusion stemming from the considerations in this article is that the integration of frugal and sustainable innovation principles can breathe new life into the discussion about sustainable innovation and sustainable development in general.
Keywords: frugal innovation; sustainable innovation; eco-innovation; sustainable development; pro-poor innovation.
Market maketh Magic Consequences and Implications of Market Choice for Frugal Innovation
by Lukas Neumann, Stephan Winterhalter, Oliver Gassmann
Abstract: This study systematically analysed 237 Frugal Innovation cases in order to understand the consequences and implications of market choice on the characteristics of a successful Frugal Innovation. The results demonstrate that this type of innovation is disruptive to its respective target market. Further, the study shows that firms that want to achieve such innovation tend to focus either on activities along the value chain or the solution (product/service) itself. This distinction yielded four clusters of Frugal Innovation, which are described in detail, including aspects regarding strategy, organisation, processes and technology.
Keywords: Frugal Innovation; resource-constrained innovation; emerging markets; developing markets; bottom of the pyramid; emerging middle class; disruption; low-end disruption; new market disruption.
Frugal Innovation for the BoP in Brazil An Analysis and Comparison with Asian Lead Markets
by Christine Wimschneider, Nivedita Agarwal, Alexander Brem
Abstract: In recent years, frugal innovation and its antecedents have gained significant attention in both theory and practice. However, the vast majority of research focuses mainly on China and India and their bottom of the pyramid (BoP) customers. Against this background, our research investigates frugal innovation and its reception in Brazil. We analyse six Brazilian company cases (three multinational corporations and three small- and medium-sized enterprises) in terms of frugal product development, product characteristics, and commercialisation approaches, as well as compare these organisations with findings from Asian lead markets. Our results confirm that the principal dimensions of frugal innovation are cost-effectiveness and ease of use. However, the findings also contradict the paradigm that frugal innovation must be essentially low-cost. Based on these results, we propose a twofold approach to the cost criterion that differentiates between the companys and the customers perspective and focuses on value-based pricing. Further, distinctive product features, branding, and specific marketing activities are crucial for successful frugal innovation in Brazil. This research extends the classification of frugal innovation in prior literature and suggests understanding frugal dimensions as a set of building blocks that can be flexibly applied to frugal product development depending on the context and regional requirements.
Keywords: BoP; Brazil; Emerging Markets; Frugal Innovation; Latin America; Product Development.
Opportunities of Frugality in the Post-Corona Era
by Cornelius Herstatt, Rajnish Tiwari
Abstract: Objective of this paper is two-fold: First, we assess the likely impact of the Corona crisis on the economic and societal choices of people, especially in relation to voluntary simplicity. Second, we contextualise the impact of those choices in the field of innovation management. Taking a normative-conceptual perspective we seek to understand in how far frugality, and inter alia, frugal innovations can play a role in better managing the after-effects of the Corona crisis and what implications arise out of this for the relevant societal stakeholders. Frugality is likely to emerge as a mega-trend that may shape a frugal 'affordable green excellence' (AGE) as the dominant innovation paradigm. To realise this potential, however, it is necessary for frugal innovators and entrepreneurs to develop a more comprehensive and multidimensional understanding of affordability that is targeted at ensuring financial, societal, infrastructural and ecological affordability of frugal products, services, technologies and business models.
Keywords: corona crisis; COVID-19 pandemic; Frugality 4.0; affordable green excellence; frugal innovation; circular economy; voluntary simplicity.
Frugal innovation in, by and for Europe
by Henning Kroll, Madeleine Gabriel
Abstract: Innovation in Europe is often an exclusive activity, involving large investments to create high specification products and services for elite customers. Frugal innovation, on the other hand, aims to be inclusive, to create value from far fewer resource inputs, and, through creativity at every stage of the innovation process, reach out to customer bases not reached before. This paper analyses how Europe can better capture the potential of frugal innovation at various levels. In summary, it finds that frugal innovations from and for Europe should fulfil three main criteria. First, they should be smart, i.e. truly more than just cheap. Second, they should be high-quality, avoiding an image of poor innovation for the poor. Third, they should be integrated into regional and national innovation strategies as a complement, not a substitute.
Keywords: frugal Innovation; Europe; quality; cost.
Frugal innovation as Environmental Innovation
by Christian Le Bas
Abstract: In this paper we contribute to the literature on frugal innovation in two directions. First, we define FI as a new technological paradigm. Second, we consider FI as an environmental innovation by defining, considering, and drawing the consequences of the economic impact of the environmental side of FI. We suggest a framework accounting for how frugal innovation contributes to sustainability. Finally, we set out the factors driving the implementation of FI, and point to barriers to their diffusion
Keywords: frugal innovation; environment; technological paradigm; sustainability.
The social dimension of frugal innovation
by Rakhshanda Khan, Helinä Melkas
Abstract: In the laypersons mind, the term frugal innovation evokes ideas of frugality, cheap solutions and products designed under resource constraints. Experts in this field, though, share a broader understanding of frugal innovation as the ability to do more with less by increasing business and social value (Radjou and Prabhu, 2014).Various emerging research focusses on its strategic, technological and organisational aspects. However, the core of frugal innovation is its social dimension, yet this has generally been overlooked. The aim of this paper is to explore the social dimension by showing the potential of frugal innovation to prompt social innovation. Empirical material derived from four case studies of successful cross-industry and cross-national frugal innovation illustrates this strong social dimension. In some cases, the boundaries between frugal and social innovation blur as both solve pressing, unaddressed societal needs, thereby positively impacting society. Frugal innovation adds value by producing solutions cheaper than the alternatives, and when costs are lowered significantly, those on the margins of society are often included in the mainstream, allowing non-consumers to become consumers, which itself is social innovation. This paper presents a novel view of frugal innovation and social innovation as closely related. The umbrella term socially driven innovation is suggested to incorporate both social and frugal innovation.
Keywords: Frugal Innovation; Frugality; Social Innovation; Socially driven Innovation.
Frugal Innovation Strategies and Global Competition in Wind Power
by Alexander Gerybadze, Malte Klein
Abstract: The paper provides an evolutionary model of industry development and learning within the wind power sector. Today this industry has attained a mature phase characterized by increased global competition, standardization and stronger emphasis on process innovation. This leads to a greater emphasis on frugal innovation and on cost reduction strategies. The emerging and developing countries already account for 54 % of global new investment in wind energy. Their share will continue to rise, particularly because of frugal design concepts and further efficiency improvements. The wind power sector also offers many opportunities for smart specialization for new industry participants from emerging nations. Manufacturers from China, India, Brazil and several other countries have demonstrated successful strategies of industry development and international expansion. Brazil in particular represents a prototype case for developing wind power based on frugal design concepts. We have selected an illustrative case study of an advanced turbine blade manufacturer from Brazil, and on the interaction with foreign multinational firms. Finally, we also address learning processes in renewable energy policy. While feed-in tariffs often stimulate industry development during early phases, the transfer to an auctioning scheme tends to have a strong impact on price discipline and on frugal innovation.
Keywords: Green Innovation; Frugal Innovation; Wind Power; Dynamic Schumpeterian Competition; Innovation in Emerging Markets.