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How companies without the benefit of authority create innovation through collaboration

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Abstract

To create new business firms develop and provide systems that are new to the market. However, if a firm wants to achieve this goal but does not possess all required resources and capabilities, it needs cooperation from other organizations. This study focuses on how firms that lack authority to compel such cooperation, gain and foster commitment from other organizations to cooperate. To develop a model that addresses this question two cases of interorganizational innovation from the Dutch construction industry were studied. In both cases an organization set up and coordinated a network of organizations to jointly develop and market a new system. The cases suggest that, in particular, three types of activities of such leading organizations affect other organizations' commitment to cooperate. These include two types of activities that correspond with two extensively researched constructs, champion behavior and supportive leadership, and one type of activity whose influence is more indirect, value proposition management. Overall, both cases can be regarded as examples of innovation and value chain integration, two issues identified as industry deficiencies in various countries.

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