Organizations are increasingly shifting from innovation initiatives centered on internal resources to initiatives centered on sharing resources, knowledge and expertise in ecosystems. In these settings, most innovation efforts have to be designed and accomplished at an interorganizational level to produce outcomes. Drawing on the experience of an applied research center in Italy, we explain why academics are in one of the best positions to orchestrate innovation ecosystems. Two main rationales support this key role. The first is associated with the fact that academics are in an independent position, which is neutral and represents a middle ground between the different organizations that share knowledge to ignite and sustain innovation at an ecosystem level. The second rationale is associated with the levels of compliance and complementarity that academics have with the main purposes for which knowledge within an innovation ecosystem is created and leveraged. Two design choices seem necessary to materialize the potential key orchestrator role of academics: (i) the extensive use of multiple approaches of collaborative research; (ii) the creation and maintenance of a knowledge platform allowing academics to progressively diffuse and leverage the ecosystem-based learning mechanisms underlying each innovation effort.

Academics as Orchestrators of Innovation Ecosystems: The Role of Knowledge Management

GASTALDI, LUCA;CORSO, MARIANO
2016

Abstract

Organizations are increasingly shifting from innovation initiatives centered on internal resources to initiatives centered on sharing resources, knowledge and expertise in ecosystems. In these settings, most innovation efforts have to be designed and accomplished at an interorganizational level to produce outcomes. Drawing on the experience of an applied research center in Italy, we explain why academics are in one of the best positions to orchestrate innovation ecosystems. Two main rationales support this key role. The first is associated with the fact that academics are in an independent position, which is neutral and represents a middle ground between the different organizations that share knowledge to ignite and sustain innovation at an ecosystem level. The second rationale is associated with the levels of compliance and complementarity that academics have with the main purposes for which knowledge within an innovation ecosystem is created and leveraged. Two design choices seem necessary to materialize the potential key orchestrator role of academics: (i) the extensive use of multiple approaches of collaborative research; (ii) the creation and maintenance of a knowledge platform allowing academics to progressively diffuse and leverage the ecosystem-based learning mechanisms underlying each innovation effort.
Innovation ecosystems; knowledge management; orchestration; Management of Technology and Innovation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1004202
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