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Paper info: The evolution of business networks along innovation lifetime cycle: a longitudinal study


The evolution of business networks along innovation lifetime cycle: a longitudinal study


Anna Codini

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 28th IMP-conference in Rome, Italy in 2012.



In the last years many studies evidenced the contribution of networks in innovation, especially in terms of knowledge creation. Moreover recent studies analyzed deeper the features assumed by the innovation network, trying to understand which are the features of the network contributing to create innovation.Even if the literature about innovation network seems to focus in particular on the role of the network in generating a new idea, no many studies analyze the evolution of the network in the following steps of the innovation lifetime cycle. In particular, there are no many studies explaining how the companies strategies within the network can influence the evolution of innovation along its lifetime cycle.So, the aim of this paper is to analyze – using a longitudinal case study – how the strategies adopted by the actors involved in the network, in particular their goals, influence the evolution of innovation during the different steps of its lifetime cycle.The longitudinal case study reported in this paper refers to a mechanical company operating in the knitting machineries industry. This company, about ten years ago, launched on the market a new technology, which enabled to create the so-defined “seamless” clothes. The creation of this new technology was thanks to a network. The evolution of the innovations launched by the company along the time reveals that innovation is strictly related to the features of the actors belonging the network and in particular to their strategies, that changed over the time.