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Composition of Collaborative Innovation Networks: An Investigation of Process Characteristics and Outcomes

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International Journal on Food System Dynamics ; Volume 10. p. 1–20. 2019

Olsen, Nina Veflen; Scholderer, Joachim; Elvekrok, Ingunn

In this study we test how different ways of composing collaborative action networks influence food innovation. Networks have received considerable attention in the literature and are perceived to enhance the likelihood of innovation success by overcoming resource and capability deficiencies. While previous studies of collaborate innovation in the food sector have been mostly qualitative case studies of one or a few networks, we compare 96 networks which were all structured according to the same network template. After content-analysing archive data, we estimated a vector-generalised linear model with binomial response distributions and probit link functions; with network composition as the predictor and the innovation process charateristics and outcomes as response variables. Our findings show that differently composed manufacturer networks lead to different outcomes and different process characteristics. We find that strong management and coordination of activities are more important for heterogeneous manufacturer networks than for homogeneous manufacturer networks, and that vertically composed networks with suppliers contribute to efficiency gains to a higher extent than networks consisting solely of manufacturers.

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