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Complex and Open Innovation for Networked Society

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COINS (Complex and Open Innovation for Networked Society)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2019-09-30

Leeds University Business School and Ericsson AB created a unique platform for researchers to engage in collaborative production of knowledge by investigating challenges for managing processes of complex innovation created by advances in digital technology. Five ESRs, accompanied by experienced, interdisciplinary and intersectoral group of supervisors studied development of innovation capabilities and organizational responses to disruptive innovation required for strategic transformation at large and technology-intensive organizations. The rich and unique complementary training programme, enables ESRs to pursue a variety of professional careers in academia, industry, consultancy and public policy. They benefited from competency and skills development for professional innovation management and technology entrepreneurship.
The overall objectives were to:
Establish a highly motivated group of ESRs committed to the collaborative production of knowledge across sectors that fuses academic rigour with practical relevance.
Strengthen collaboration between industry and academia by providing an innovative arrangement for industrial engagement in doctoral training in the interdisciplinary area of technology innovation management.
Deliver a range of high-quality research outputs that positively impact scholarly knowledge, practising managers, policymakers and wider community influenced by innovation.
The project has been highly successful. Four Early Stage Researchers are finalizing their doctoral theses and they are expected to complete their doctoral degrees in 2020. One Early Stage Researcher has already left the project in order to peruse career of an innovation manager at a high-technology company. Leeds University Business School gained a valuable experience of managing doctoral training collaboration with academic partner and the lessons learned will be incorporated into future doctoral programmes and initiatives.
The individual research projects are integrated into an original and holistic framework for managing corporate innovation that helps practicing managers at establishing companies to innovate by building new businesses. The framework effectively integrates strategy, corporate entrepreneurship, creation of new markets, platform business models, open innovation, management talent and culture into a holistic tool for strategically managing corporate innovation. The insights gained are highly relevant for companies that face discontinuous changes and the need for managing digital transformation.
Five motivated Early Stage Researchers were recruited and they received bespoke research and complementary training during three years.
All researchers completed transfer reports and four researchers are finalizing their doctoral theses – completion expected in 2020.
All researchers completed 18 months secondment at Ericsson as part of the Business Area Technology and Emerging Businesses. They received bespoke professional training in the field of innovation management and technology entrepreneurship.
Four dedicated doctoral workshops were organized in Leeds (two), London, Amsterdam and Stockholm that exposed COINS researchers to insights and feedback from senior academics as well as practicing managers. Some of these events were co-organized with the Northern Advanced Research Training Initiative (NARTI) and were open to researchers outside the COINS network.
Three outreach events (two in Leeds and one in Stockholm) were organized targeted to primary and secondary school students. Early Stage Researchers were central for organizing and delivering these events.
ESRs benefited highly from a visit at Ericsson in Silicon Valley and the two Venture Accelerators. They learned a lot about how to support start-ups and build successful technology ventures.
The researchers and their supervisors wrote regular blogs about managing technology innovation for the Leeds University Business School. These blogs were disseminated through LUBS Tweeter and Facebook accounts and are available at LUBS and COINS webpages.
The high impact brochure titled Corporate Innovation: How do Established Companies Innovate by Building New Businesses has been produced and is already used to communicate the results to the industrial and corporate audience.
The contract for book Corporate Innovation: Challenges for Strategic Transformation has been signed with Taylor and Francis (The Publisher).
The Final Conference has been delivered in Stockholm.
The researchers have presented their work at multiple established management conferences in Europe and USA such as Strategic Management Society Conferences, European Group of Organizations Studies Conferences, Academy of Management Conferences, DRUID Conference, European Academy of Management Conference and Process Studies Conference. These multiple conference publications are in the process to be transformed into manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals in the field of management studies
Managers in large, established companies need to protect the legacy of their existing business, perform in the present and innovate to remain relevant in the future. This strategic challenge requires managers to simultaneously respond to the demands of current customers, while exploring emerging business opportunities in unfamiliar markets with new technologies. Sustaining their existing businesses, however, requires efficiency and commitment, while building emerging businesses thrives on experimentation and flexibility. Balancing these often contradictive innovation activities forces managers to develop appropriate organisational resources, structures and capabilities. Moreover, the conventional R&D business model is proved inadequate for creating emergent businesses.
COINS researchers have developed a holistic framework that integrates strategy, corporate entrepreneurship, creation of new markets, platform business models, open innovation, management talent and culture that shed the light on organizational capabilities, practices and structures that support successful strategic transformation of companies that face potentially disruptive changes. The research contributed to novel understanding of how companies, that historically used a product-centric business model, develop a multisided platform business model by managing their emergent innovation ecosystem. It also investigated how established firms can digitally transform an existing industry to create a new one. It was found that innovation managers skilfully combine cultural (identity claims, entrepreneurial narratives) and material resources (large-scale demonstrators) that permit experiential understanding of the novel technologies. The research on corporate accelerators provided unique insights into the managerial capabilities that are needed to develop an effective internal start-up processes and utilize internal and external technological and market expertise for selecting promising ventures. Another research stream examined the integration of IT-enabled open strategy practices with the formal strategy process in order to create and implement emerging business initiatives. The research identified the set of critical decision areas and bridging practices that strategy managers need in order to orchestrate an on-line community that aims to develop new businesses in an increasingly inclusive and transparent manner (i.e. a more open approach to strategy and innovation)