Paper info: Supplier-Customer Co-innovation Process in B2B markets
Supplier-Customer Co-innovation Process in B2B markets
Minna Oinonen and Anne Jalkala
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 28th IMP-conference in Rome, Italy in 2012.
In B2B markets, innovations are often co-created in interactions between suppliers and customers.The existing studies view supplier-customer co-innovation as a linear processcomprisingphases similar to the traditional firm-internal innovation processwithout questioning the traditional innovation process models’ suitability to describe dyadic supplier-customer co-innovation. The present study aims to identify the special characteristics of the supplier-customer co-innovation process by adopting a grounded theory approach to reveal thenature and different kinds of phases in thesupplier-customer co-innovation process. The findings fromexamining eight real life co-innovation processes between a global mining technology supplier and its customer firms suggest that the supplier-customer co-innovation process is often emergent in nature and characterized by alternating interaction focused on needs identification and consensus seeking.The study identifies a total of seven overlapping co-innovation processphases which can be seen embedded as relational sub-processes in the supplier-customer interaction continuum. The findings encourage managers to search for weak signals that reveal the customer’s problems and goals in the co-innovation, which can help manage the supplier-customer co-innovation process.