Conceiving and Marketing Products in the Networking Age
9. Conclusions This book has shed light on the key drivers of collaborative innovation in a context where NPD activities assume a more and more distributed nature. It has highlighted the new tools that companies can use in order to collaborate with their customers in digital settings and it has sketched out three major organizational modes of collaborative innovation in the extended network. At the same time, it has contributed to identifying two fundamental dilemmas, which we would like to leave at the end of our book as food for thought for scholars interested in the ﬁeld. 9.1 THE KNOWLEDGE DILEMMA: SPECIALIZATION VERSUS MULTIDISCIPLINARITY A ﬁrst dilemma associated with value creation in collaborative innovation is related to the fact that ICTs increase the need for knowledge specialization both at the ﬁrm and at the community level, but at the same time they require the development of more diverse competences to face convergent industries, generating possibilities of reconnection and recombination through both weak and strong virtual ties. To some extent, ICTs simultaneously create the ‘problem’ – knowledge specialization – and its ‘solution’ – knowledge socialization. However, the likelihood of success in matching these opposite drivers depends on the ﬁrm’s ability to select the proper combination between the lead sponsor of the value creation activity and the tightness of the linkages connecting all the actors of the collaborative innovation system. Hence, in order to drive this decision proﬁciently, managers need to be provided not only with the entire portfolio of alternative governance modes, but...
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