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Governance and co-ordination of distributed innovation processes: patterns of R&D co-operation in the upstream petroleum industry

  • Virginia Acha
  • Lucia Cusmano

Increasingly the firm meets limits to its reach over the breadth of technologies and capabilities that are needed to innovate. Empirical study has shown that innovation processes are distributed across a variety of actors. The distribution of innovation processes across actors calls for specific forms of governance which extend across the boundaries of the firm, such as loosely coupled innovative networks. Technological and market drivers determine the location of agents within such networks, reflecting their needs and capabilities to co-ordinate systemic knowledge and power dependencies. The paper discusses the theoretical perspectives on the technological and market dimensions involved in the co-ordination of distributed innovative activities, proposing an interpretative framework for the investigation of R&D collaborations. Exploring these topics through the lens of the upstream petroleum industry, we investigate the relationship between competitive domains, technological profiles and positioning of actors within R&D networks, arguing that technological and market power contribute differently to the evolution of co-ordinating (nexus) functions over time.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Economics of Innovation and New Technology.

Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1-2 ()
Pages: 1-21

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:14:y:2005:i:1-2:p:1-21
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  1. Brusoni, Stefano & Prencipe, Andrea, 2001. "Unpacking the Black Box of Modularity: Technologies, Products and Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 179-205, March.
  2. Rod Coombs & Mark Harvey & Bruce S. Tether, 2003. "Analysing distributed processes of provision and innovation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(6), pages 1125-1155, December.
  3. Luigi Orsenigo & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni & Andrea Bonaccorsi & Giuseppe Turchetti, 1997. "The Evolution of Knowledge and the Dynamics of an Industry Network," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 147-175, June.
  4. Stefano Brusoni, 2003. "Authority in the Age of Modularity," SPRU Working Paper Series 101, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  5. Teubal, Morris & Yinnon, Tamar & Zuscovitch, Ehud, 1991. "Networks and market creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 381-392, October.
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