How to manage flexibility and control in interfirm R&D collaborations?: A study of knowledge integration between companies in the explorative phase of innovation
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background and problem: There are a number of benefits that can be gained from an inter-firm R&D collaboration, however it is at the same time a challenging task. An important factor to achieve a sucessful R&D collaboration is the knowledge integration between the companies. Handling the two problems of cooperation and coordination are key to this success and can be done by using different mechanisms. These mechanisms suggest that the increasing degree of problems with cooperation and coordination requires increased control. As a result, an interesting aspect is how to manage the contradiction between control of knowledge integration and the need for flexibility which are both necessary for the explorative phase of an innovation process.
Objective: The purpose of this thesis is to explore how an inter-firm R&D collaboration in the explortive phase of innovation can manage the knowledge integration contradiction of flexibility and control.
Method: To fulfill our purpose we have made a ethnographically inspired case study on an inter-firm R&D collaboration in the explorative phase of innovation.
Knowledge integration: Taking advantage of specialists’ knowledge that exists in collaboration.
Inter-firm R&D collaboration: A partnership between external companies undertaking research and developing something together.
The explorative phase of innovation: The early phase before the architecture of the innovation has been set.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that a loose structure, high trust, bigness as a source of power, vertical collaboration, close collaboration and limited size of the collaboration are mechanisms that the collaborators use to manage the contradiction between flexibility and control in the explorative phase of innovation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 76 p.
Knowledge integration, Inter-firm R&D collaboration, The explorative phase of innovation, Flexibility, Control
Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72890ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A—11/01112--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-72890DiVA: diva2:463508
Subject / course
Master Thesis in Business Administration (Magisteruppsats i Företagsekonomi)