InnovationXchange: A Case Study in Innovation Intermediation

Lars Håkanson, Petra Caessens, Sam MacAuley

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    Knowledge intermediation can create otherwise unobtainable value when potentially profitable knowledge combinations do not occur because the search costs required to discover them are too high and/or the risks and costs of opportunistic behavior prevents the knowledge disclosure required to identify and/or pursue them. Based on a case study of the Australian operation of the InnovationXchange (IXC), an innovation intermediary, this paper identifies three sets of core intermediation competences - network spanning capability, organizational memory and credibility and skills as a mediator. It describes the practices employed by IXC to develop and sustain these capabilities, enabling it to: (1) search for and match partners and facilitate knowledge sharing across geographical, industry and disciplinary boundaries at lower cost and more effectively than its clients can do on their own; and to (2) mitigate risks of opportunistic behavior, IP contamination and reputational damage that prevent agents from engaging in direct contact. The study provides new insights regarding the organizational capabilities required for successful knowledge brokering, and regarding the types of situations where knowledge intermediaries can provide value by facilitating combinations of knowledge that might otherwise go undetected. The results raise some intriguing issues for future research regarding the mechanisms at work when bridging the thought worlds of different industries, functions and disciplines lacking common cognitive schema, vocabularies and priorities
    TidsskriftInnovation: Organization & Management
    Udgave nummer2
    Sider (fra-til)261-274
    StatusUdgivet - 2011