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

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  • Virginia Acha
  • Lucia Cusmano

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginia Acha & Lucia Cusmano, 2005. "Governance and co-ordination of distributed innovation processes: patterns of R&D co-operation in the upstream petroleum industry," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ecinnt:v:14:y:2005:i:1-2:p:1-21
    DOI: 10.1080/1043859042000228651
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Stefano Brusoni, 2003. "Authority in the Age of Modularity," SPRU Working Paper Series 101, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    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 & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 1(2), pages 147-175, June.
    4. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dantas, Eva & Bell, Martin, 2011. "The Co-Evolution of Firm-Centered Knowledge Networks and Capabilities in Late Industrializing Countries: The Case of Petrobras in the Offshore Oil Innovation System in Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1570-1591, September.
    2. Scott, Susan V., 2010. "Understanding the characteristics of techno-innovation in an era of self-regulated financial services," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37867, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Andrea Morrison, 2011. "Innovation and External Knowledge Sources in Industrial Districts: Evidence from an Italian Furniture Cluster," Chapters,in: Knowledge Transfer and Technology Diffusion, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Guillou, Sarah & Lazaric, Nathalie & Longhi, Christian & Rochhia, Sylvie, 2009. "The French defence industry in the knowledge management era: A historical overview and evidence from empirical data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 170-180, February.
    5. Poul Houman Andersen & Ina Drejer, 2006. "Systemic Innovation in a Distributed Network Paradox or Pinnacle?," DRUID Working Papers 06-13, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Han, Sang Yun & Bae, Sung Joo, 2014. "Internalization of R&D outsourcing: An empirical study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 58-73.

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