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Collaborative Innovation. From Action to Knowledge. A Collaborative Community. Launched by IBM and Intel in February 2006 Purpose is to find market applications for IBM’s new bladecenter technology

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Collaborative Innovation

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collaborative innovation

Collaborative Innovation

From Action to Knowledge

blade org a collaborative community A Collaborative Community
  • Launched by IBM and Intel in February 2006
  • Purpose is to find market applications for IBM’s new bladecenter technology
  • Currently has more than 100 member firms (mostly U.S. firms and some international)
  • is a non-profit organization that helps its members make money
  •’s performance is measured by ‘solutions’ generated, member firm sales, etc.
  • We are currently studying areas where is the most entrepreneurial.
the knowledge economy demands innovation
The Knowledge Economy Demands Innovation
  • The ability to innovate is the primary determinant of a firm’s success and a country’s economic development.
  • Most firms have far more capacity to innovate than they are currently using.
  • Even the most innovative firm does not innovate well outside of its existing industry (or industries).
  • Many innovative ideas and opportunities come from outside the firm.
  • The development of organizational capabilities precedes the management of knowledge.
capabilities of existing organizational forms
Capabilities of Existing Organizational Forms

Functional Organization (U Form)

  • Ability to innovate (new products, services, and process technologies) within a single industry

Divisional Organization (M Form)

  • Ability to tailor product/service innovation to market segments within an industry
  • Ability to enter related industries through synergies

Matrix Organization

  • Ability to operate existing businesses efficiently and to innovate within those businesses
  • Ability to enter and efficiently operate new businesses if they can be integrated into the matrix

Multi-Firm Network Organization

  • Ability to adapt quickly – develop a new product, enter a new business, etc. – by focusing on core capabilities and outsourcing non-core capabilities
overall design challenge posed by the knowledge economy
Overall Design Challenge Posed by the Knowledge Economy

How to Achieve Continuous Innovation Across Industries

Can This Be Accomplished by a Multi-Firm Collaborative Community (or ‘Collaborative Innovation Network’)?

process of collaboration
Process of Collaboration

Collaboration is a multi-party process characterized by

  • general and specialized competence
  • intrinsic motivation based on shared interest
  • values of openness and honesty
  • trust among the parties… and, most importantly,
  • a concern for the other party’s interests equal to that of your own.

Collaboration is different from, and arguably more demanding than, cooperation.

organizational capabilities
Organizational Capabilities

Teece (Strategic Management Journal, 2007)

  • Required Overall Capabilities: Sensing Opportunities, Seizing Opportunities, Reconfiguring Capacities
  • Capabilities Are Composed of Skills, Processes, Procedures, Structures, Decision Rules, and Disciplines
  • Responsibility of, and Largely Performed by, the Top Management Team

Grewal & Slotegraaf (Decision Sciences, 2007)

  • ‘Capability Embeddedness’ Has an Incremental Effect on Firm Performance Beyond the Effects of Resources and Capabilities
the configurational perspective
The Configurational Perspective

Organizations are goal-directed, boundary- maintaining, activity systems. Their main building blocks are:

Management Philosophies





lessons learned about collaborative communities
Lessons Learned about Collaborative Communities

1.The multi-firm collaborative community is the newest form of organizing. The research literature is growing, and there are real-life examples.

2.The main design features (strategies, capabilities, structures, processes) are known. Now we need hypothesis-testing research.

3.Collaborative communities can be strong competitors and collaborators simultaneously – true co-opetition.

concluding questions
Concluding Questions

Is a multi-firm collaborative community, such as that of, a new organizational form? Can you anticipate the next organizational form?

further reading
Further Reading

Bryan, L.L. & Joyce, C.I. 2007. Mobilizing Minds: Creating Wealth from Talent in the 21st-Century Organization. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Chesbrough, H.2003. Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Florida, R. 2002. The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. New York: Basic Books.

Helfat, et al. (Eds.). 2007. Dynamic Capabilities: Understanding Strategic Change in Organizations. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

Link, A.N. & Siegel, D.S. Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Technological Change. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Miles, R.E., Miles, G., & Snow, C.C. 2005. Collaborative Entrepreneurship: How Communities of Networked Firms Use Continuous Innovation to Create Economic Wealth. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.