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The Generation of Common Purpose in Innovation Partnerships : a Design Perspective

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  • Thomas Gillier

    ()
    (MTS - Management Technologique et Strategique - Grenoble École de Management (GEM))

  • Akın Kazakçı

    ()
    (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)

  • Gérald Piat

    ()
    (EDF R&D - EDF)

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    Abstract

    Purpose - Scholars and practitioners have both emphasized the importance of collaboration in innovation context. They have also largely acknowledged that the definition of common purpose is a major driver of successful collaboration, but surprisingly, researchers have put little effort into investigating the process whereby the partners define the common purpose. This research aims to explore the Generation of Common Purpose (GCP) in innovation partnerships. Design/methodology/approach - An action-research approach combined with modeling has been followed. Our research is based on an in-depth qualitative case study of a cross-industry exploratory partnership through which four partners, from very different arenas, aim to collectively define innovation projects based on micro-nanotechnologies. Based on a design reasoning framework, the mechanisms of GCP mechanism are depicted. Findings - Regarding GCP, two main interdependent facets are identified: (1) the determination of existing intersections between the parties' concept and knowledge spaces ('Matching'); (2) an introspective learning process that allows the parties to transforms those spaces ('Building'). Practical implications - The better understanding of the GCP and the specific notion of "C-K profiles", which is an original way to characterize each partner involved in a partnership, should improve the capabilities of organizations to efficiently define collaborative innovation projects. Originality/value - This article explores one of the cornerstones of successful collaboration in innovation: the process whereby several parties define the common purpose of their partnership.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) with number halshs-00718287.

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    Date of creation: 13 Jul 2012
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    Publication status: Published, European Journal of Innovation Management, 2012, 15, 3, 372-392
    Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:halshs-00718287

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00718287
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    Related research

    Keywords: Innovation ; Partnership ; Design ; Generation of common purpose ; Innovation partnerships ; Shared objectives ; C-K design theory ; Cross-industry exploratory partnership;

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    1. Wierzbicki, Andrzej P., 2007. "Modelling as a way of organising knowledge," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 610-635, January.
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    7. Nooteboom, B. & Vanhaverbeke, W.P.M. & Duijsters, G.M. & Gilsing, V.A. & Oord, A., 2006. "Optimal Cognitive Distance and Absorptive Capacity," Discussion Paper 2006-33, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    8. Sabine Brunswicker & Ulrich Hutschek, 2010. "Crossing Horizons: Leveraging Cross-Industry Innovation Search In The Front-End Of The Innovation Process," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 14(04), pages 683-702.
    9. Ji Li, 2002. "East Meets East And East Meets West: The Case Of Sino-Japanese And Sino-West Joint Ventures In China," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(6), pages 841-863, 09.
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