Champions of collaboration in collaborative technological innovation
Abstract (Summary)Rapid technological change, globalization, increasing competition and concerns about sustainability have changed the nature of technological innovation processes with the result that these activities are less often confined to a single firm. Thus, there is a growing demand for someone to foster collaboration. This prompted the question: how do these individuals foster collabora tive technological innovation (CTI)? The steps of collaborative technological innovation at the firm level generally include recognition of an opportunity, idea generation, problem solving, and implementation/diffusionof the technology. Each stage and its activities require a different rnix of individuals and their contributions. When the mix includes people from different organizations, getting these people to work together effectively requires someone with special skills. We cal1 these people " champions of collaboration. " This study advances our understanding of these people by building hypotheses that explain how " champions of collaboration " foster inter- organizational research and development collaboration in Japanese fims. A case study research strategy is applied to this research, and seven hypotheses are developed. Of these, four were found to be unique in the existing literature. H 1: Champions of Collaboration (Cd) contribute to a form of advanced market awareness and innovation project initiation called "deniand articirlation." H 2: CoC contribute to the selection of partner(s) by considering the goals for the collaboration and the fit (person-teperson, time, stra tegic, organizational, functional) between their own firm and the target firm or organization. H 3: CoC help to set collaborative research and development agendas for technological innovation. H 4: CoC motivate researcher(s) and developer(s) within their own and partner firms. The research suggests that "senkennornei" (long- term perspective), " shinnen" (conviction), dong with passion, persistence, coordination, and negotiation skills are key personality characteristics that enable the champion of collaboration to foster collaboration in technological innovation. Additionally, a CoC emerges at various stages of a CTI and different individuals may play this role at different times as they work collaboratively with others within and outside their organizations. This thesis provides some directions for practitioners who wish to optirnize teduiological innovation processes through collaboration, and makes several recommendations for further research in the area.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/2000