Chapter 1: Knowledge and Innovation in Networks: A Conceptual Framework
Ard-Pieter de Man, Hans Berends, Irene Lammers, Erik van Raaij and Arjan van Weele Increasingly, innovation no longer takes place within individual ﬁrms, but within networks of organizations. An important requirement for such network-based innovations to come to fruition is that knowledge ﬂows across organizational boundaries. Yet, it is not self-evident or easy to create and sustain knowledge ﬂows within and across companies. This chapter presents a framework for studying knowledge management in alliance networks. This framework is used in subsequent chapters to analyse ﬁve case studies of knowledge sharing and innovation in networks. This chapter starts with a brief review of existing literature on alliance networks and knowledge management, leading to a conceptual model for studying knowledge management in networks. This conceptual model incorporates knowledge-sharing problems, solutions to those problems, and the contingent eﬀects of network and knowledge type. The chapter concludes with a short introduction to the ﬁve case studies. KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION MANAGEMENT IN NETWORKS How was METRO, one of the world’s largest supermarket chains, able to create an innovative, ground-breaking future store with over 50 widely diﬀerent partners? How are small family-owned companies in the Dutch cut-ﬂower industry able to remain at the forefront of innovation and practically corner the world market? Why was Glare, a new material, ﬁnally used by Airbus after a long and arduous development process? The answer lies in the dynamics of the networks that collaborated on these innovations. In each case numerous partners were involved in creating something...
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