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

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Gillier

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

  • Akın Kazakçı

    () (CGS i3 - Centre de Gestion Scientifique i3 - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris - PSL - PSL Research University - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Gérald Piat

    () (EDF - EDF)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Gillier & Akın Kazakçı & Gérald Piat, 2012. "The Generation of Common Purpose in Innovation Partnerships : a Design Perspective," Grenoble Ecole de Management (Post-Print) halshs-00718287, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:gemptp:halshs-00718287
    DOI: 10.1108/14601061211243684
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00718287
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    Keywords

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

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