The Dilemma of Collaboration for Innovation : Innovation with each other or past each other?

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för organisation och entreprenörskap (OE)

Abstract: Background: Innovation and collaboration are deemed popular terms that are widely used and agreed on. It is implied that innovation without collaboration seems to be unlikely (Deichmann et al., 2017, Haanæs et al., 2018, Innov8rs, 2018). However, the meaning behind innovations of disruptive, incremental, or radical character remains vague and presumably differs between practitioners, just as it differs among scholars. Also, the literature only implies how collaboration can be used effectively for innovation, whilst focussing more on what forms of collaborations are existing.   Research questions: How is innovation understood in the CIC? How does the CIC work together in order to realise cross-industry collaborations for innovation?   Purpose: This study aims at investigating the variety of innovation understanding and how it is applied in collaborations, based on the views of practitioners from different companies that are part of the Cross Industry Club.   Method: This research is designed as an exploratory case study and follows a qualitative strategy with abductive reasoning. Data is collected through nine semi-structured interviews with representatives from five different companies.   Conclusion: The study revealed that practitioners have other aspects in mind which define their understanding of innovation compared to scholars. By that, the usage of innovation terminology is rather arbitrary in practice. The influence of innovation frameworks on the understanding of innovation and the collaborative work have been revealed. Innovation in a cross-industry collaboration, in its purpose and characteristics, is similar to the work of communities of practice. Challenges that appear during the emergence of a collaboration like the CIC, and values that affect the initial work towards cross-industry projects, have been identified.

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