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Paper info: Organizational Forms for Innovation in System Industries:A Typology Test with Case Studies on the Development of Mobile Telecom Applications

Title


Organizational Forms for Innovation in System Industries:A Typology Test with Case Studies on the Development of Mobile Telecom Applications

Authors


Ferdinand Jaspers and
Jan van den Ende
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Netherlands
Jan van den Ende

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.

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Abstract


System industries deliver product systems that are composed of technologically diverse components. Over time product systems evolve by innovations that cause major or minor changes to the system’s architecture, interfaces and components. We take the perspective of the product system firm, the firm that designs, integrates and commercializes the product system. Contingent on the degrees of change to the product system, the firm is faced with specific requirements in terms of coordination, appropriation and learning. The organizational form for the innovation process has to provide the firm with the capacity to match these requirements. In this study the organizational form is conceptualized as a multidimensional construct. Based on a review of the literature we identify four organizational dimensions and we build a typology that proposes distinct organizational configurations for different types of innovation. These configurations show that a one dimensional conceptualization of the organizational form based on the level of vertical integration is insufficient to fully understand how to organize innovation processes in a product system.Next, using a multiple case study design we put the typology to a first empirical test. Using a pattern matching approach we systematically compare observed organizational forms with expected organizational forms. We hypothesize that configurational fit corresponds to high project performance and that configurational misfit corresponds to lower project performance. The case studies involve development projects of mobile telecommunications applications that were selected using theoretical replication logic. The results provide considerable support for the typology developed in this paper.Keywords: organizational form, innovation, product systems, system industries, configurations, typology, case studies, mobile applications, pattern matching.