Failure to innovate : essays on the challenges and barriers to realizing business transformation

Tutkimustuotos: Doctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Firms cope with the need for change through the innovations they create. These can be new products, services, processes, or business models – in other words, any of the ways that they create and deliver value to their customers. The imperative for firms to change comes from the dynamic nature of our society and the businesses that inhabit it. As customers’ habits or preferences change over time firms must be able to react with offerings suited to new situations. The most capable of firms may even be able to shape the way these factors develop over time by creating novel value offerings that draw users away from earlier alternatives. All the while, a firm’s competitors are also seeking for ways to serve customers in new and improved ways, exacerbating the urgency that firms face in generating new innovations in an ever-changing business environment. The four complementary essays of the work aim to address the following research question: In open economies and networks, what are the causes of failure and barriers to new types of innovation? This research question is supported by the two questions: 1) How can entrepreneurial managers avoid failure in their novel innovation initiatives? and 2) In what new ways can researchers collaborate with industry players in innovation while studying the phenomena? All four essays make us of semi-structured interviews with managers associated with challenging and failed innovation initiatives. In all, over 100 interviews were conducted, and these were complemented with archival materials and research notes from observations. The work proposes as set of new frameworks and methodologies for studying innovation. The essays advance earlier literature on value-creating systems through the application of such concepts as dynamic capabilities, open innovation, and services innovation in novel empirical settings. On the whole, the work makes the case for new neo-Schumpeterian theory of innovation; one that challenges existing perspectives on the role of organizational and industry boundaries in innovations, and is better-suited for the innovation activities taking place in open systems and across boundaries. Such a theory brings focus on the entrepreneurial manager and his/her capabilities to create and manage new innovations. This work hopes to provide a starting point and some guidance for the development of this new view on innovations. For managers, the findings of the work highlight the most common sources of failure in bold innovation initiatives and provide guidance for successfully realizing business transformation.
Myöntävä instituutio
  • Aalto-yliopisto
  • Tikkanen, Henrikki, Vastuuprofessori
Painoksen ISBN978-952-60-5147-5
TilaJulkaistu - 2013
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


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