Start-up collaboration units (SCUs) are organizational units specifically created by large companies to facilitate collaboration with start-ups within their corporate innovation ecosystems (CIEs). The purpose of this study is to analyze the role of SCUs with reference to the transfer of knowledge between start-ups and large companies in collaborative innovation projects. An embedded case study was undertaken with three large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive sector. Interviews were conducted with managers of the three OEMs, of the intermediaries they collaborate with, and of the start-ups involved. Data were systematically coded and analyzed. The main barriers to knowledge exchange in partnerships between large companies and start-ups were identified, i.e. mismatches in the interpretation of knowledge and mismatches in the expectations of the partners. In addition, strategies have been identified that can be used by SCUs to facilitate knowledge flows, namely building networks, integrating communication, knowledge elicitation, orchestrating dialog, thinking outside the box, and increasing agility. This study is one of the first to focus on SCUs. It contributes to understanding collaborative innovation processes involving start-ups by studying the knowledge-broker role played by SCUs in the complex network of actors (large companies, start-ups, innovation intermediaries, public institutions) that make up a CIE.

Start-up collaboration units as knowledge brokers in Corporate Innovation Ecosystems: A study in the automotive industry

Felicetti, Alberto Michele;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Start-up collaboration units (SCUs) are organizational units specifically created by large companies to facilitate collaboration with start-ups within their corporate innovation ecosystems (CIEs). The purpose of this study is to analyze the role of SCUs with reference to the transfer of knowledge between start-ups and large companies in collaborative innovation projects. An embedded case study was undertaken with three large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive sector. Interviews were conducted with managers of the three OEMs, of the intermediaries they collaborate with, and of the start-ups involved. Data were systematically coded and analyzed. The main barriers to knowledge exchange in partnerships between large companies and start-ups were identified, i.e. mismatches in the interpretation of knowledge and mismatches in the expectations of the partners. In addition, strategies have been identified that can be used by SCUs to facilitate knowledge flows, namely building networks, integrating communication, knowledge elicitation, orchestrating dialog, thinking outside the box, and increasing agility. This study is one of the first to focus on SCUs. It contributes to understanding collaborative innovation processes involving start-ups by studying the knowledge-broker role played by SCUs in the complex network of actors (large companies, start-ups, innovation intermediaries, public institutions) that make up a CIE.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/343025
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