New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Ben L. Kedia and Subhash C. Jain
Chapter 1: Learning and innovation in collaborative innovation networks
Organizational search, learning and innovation activities are both enabled and complicated by trends toward the modularization of businesses functions performed by the firm (Linder, 2004; Lorenzoni and Lipparini, 1999; Pil and Cohen, 2006; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990). The disaggregation of the value chain has left many firms dependent on ‘outside’ resources to complement, augment and replace many business activities including those that lead to innovations (Kedia and Lahari, 2007; Kedia and Mukherjee, 2009; Powell et al., 1996; Quinn, 2000). As a result, firms are often enjoined into arrangements including joint ventures, strategic alliances, outsourcing agreements and other collaborations creating project-centered, extended organizations that fulfill various innovation tasks by leveraging the competencies and resources of the participants (Ahuja and Lampert, 2001; Lorenzoni and Baden-Fuller, 1995; Powell et al., 1996; Weber and Weber, 2007). Furthermore, firms often engage in multiple concurrent, parallel and sometimes deliberately competing project networks with different partners, creating a portfolio of alternative solutions for those firms (Hoffman, 2007; Wassmer, 2010). Although these project-centered, extended organizations may emerge organically around a new entrant, technology or process, we contend that the formation and structure of many are strategically managed by central, influential and often quite powerful lead firms (Ahuja, 2000; Dhanaraj and Parkhe, 2006; Gerwin, 2004; Koka and Prescott, 2008).
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