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    Call for papers

    Innovation in Business-to-Business Networks

    Special issue Call for Papers for the

    Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

    Innovation as a collaborative phenomenon (Powell et al., 1996) has lead to the

    development of the concept of innovation networks (INs) (Dhanaraj and Parkhe, 2006;

    Von Hippel, 2007), where actors interact to develop innovations of different nature

    (Ahuja, 2000; Westerlund and Rajala, 2009): “An innovation network is [about]... the

    linkages between organizations… in order to create, capture and integrate the many

    different skills and knowledge needed to develop complex technologies and bring

    them into the market” (Calia et al., 2007: 427).

    The critical sources of innovation, thus, often reside somewhere in a company’s

    surrounding business network (Björk and Magnuson, 2009). Through co-operation in

    innovating, firms can access complementary knowledge and share the costs and risks

    of innovative activities. Innovation networks can therefore be considered as an

    alternative form of organization in knowledge production.

    In these inter-organizational networks, several business actors have valuable impact

    on the knowledge and innovation creation process (Rampersad, Quester and

    Troshani, 2010). Accordingly, innovation tends to result from various interactions

    among different organizations (Häkansson et al., 2009), often very heterogeneous

    (Cantù, Corsaro and Shenota, 2011; Mason, 2011) in terms of different industries,

    goals, organizational structures, views of the surrounding network, roles, and other

    characteristics. Actors —like companies, intermediaries, research centers,

    governmental institutions, trade unions, universities, laboratories, technology centers,

    development organizations, local and international associations— join together to

    achieve mutually defined goals (Child and Faulkner, 1998). However, their goals can

    be very diverse and, furthermore, the same actor may try to achieve different goals

    (Corsaro and Snehota, 2011) in the context of different interaction and innovation


    Our Call for Papers is aimed at exploring how the features of business actors impact

    the innovations generated in interactions in networks. The topic of how such different

    actors confront their goals and how this impacts on the process of generation,

    adoption, and diffusion of an innovation is of particular interest.

    Some specific, but not exclusive, research questions are the following:

    • How do different business actors’ goals impact innovations generated in


    • How do these goals combine and co-exist in the development, adoption and

    diffusion of innovation? How do they address innovation-related processes?

    • Does the interaction among actors with heterogeneous goals lead to certain

    resource interfaces to develop more than others?

    • How do different goals co-exist in a business actor and how do they affect the

    different innovation processes it is involved into?

    • Are there any patterns in how actors’ goals and the innovation networks

    change over time?

    Submissions of papers

    Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or

    presently be under consideration for publication with any other journal. Submissions

    should be approximately 6,000-8,000 words in length. Submissions to the Journal of

    Business & Industrial Marketing must be made using the ScholarOne

    ManuscriptCentral system. For more details, please visit: and consult the author guidelines. Suitable articles

    will be subjected to a double-blind review. Hence authors should not identify

    themselves in the body of the paper. Submission deadline: 30 November, 2012.

    The best papers from the 28th IMP Conference – Special Track Combining the Social

    and Technological Aspects of Innovation: Relationships and Networks – will also be

    selected and invited for submission to this Special Issue.

    Special Issue Editors

    Daniela Corsaro, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,

    Chiara Cantù, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,

    Annalisa Tunisini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore,


    Ahuja, G. (2000). Collaboration networks, structural holes, and innovation: a

    longitudinal study. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45(3): 425-455.

    Björk, J. & Magnusson, M. (2009). Where Do Good Innovation Ideas Come From?

    Exploring the Influence of Network Connectivity on Innovation Idea Quality. Journal of

    Product Innovation Management, 26(6): 662–670.

    Calia, R. C., Guerrini, F. M. & Moura, G. L. (2007). Innovation networks: From

    technological development to business model reconfiguration. Technovation, 27(8):


    Cantù C, Corsaro, D. & Snehota, I. (2011). Roles of actors in combining resources

    into complex solutions. Journal of Business Research, In press.

    Child, J., & Faulkner, R. R. (1998). Strategies of co-operation: Managing alliances,

    networks, and joint ventures. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Corsaro, D. & Snehota, I. (2011). Alignment and Misalignment in Business

    Relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(6): 1042-1054.

    Dhanaraj, C. & Parkhe, A. (2006). Orchestrating Innovation Networks. Academy of

    Management Review, 31(3): 659-669.

    Håkansson, H., Ford, D., Gadde, L. E., Snehota, I. & Waluszewski, A. (2009).

    Business in networks. Great Britain: Wiley and Sons.

    Mason, K. (2011). A commentary on “The role of actors in combining resources into

    complex solutions”. Journal of Business Research, In press.

    Powell, W.W., Koput, K.W. & Smith-Doerr, L. (1996). Interorganizational collaboration

    and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology. Administrative

    Science Quarterly, 41(2): 116-145.

    Rampersad, G.C., Quester, P. & Troshani, I. (2010). Managing innovation networks:

    Exploratory evidence from ICT, biotechnology and nanotechnology networks.

    Industrial Marketing Management, 39(5): 793-805.

    Von Hippel, E. (2007). Horizontal innovation networks - by and for users. Industrial

    and Corporate Change, 16(2): 293-315.

    Westerlund, M. & Rajala, R. (2010). Learning and innovation in inter-organizational

    network collaboration. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 25(6): 435-442
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