There is a global trend of a more distributed world, one where customers and consumers increasingly co-create solutions and experiences, and networks become a key organizing mechanism for innovation, production, marketing and sales. Relationships and partnering become even more critical for business, and delivering on rising and multifaceted demands and addressing complex issues is more than one company can do alone. Power is also being distributed as individuals become increasingly networked, tapping into the wisdom of friends and communities – shifting relationships from one-to-one to many-to-many. Distributed consumption, production and power are becoming the norm, with important implications for organizations and management looking ahead.
Collaborative innovation has become an increasingly frequent phenomenon, e.g. through popular concepts such as open innovation, which describes how a firm’s internal innovation processes are opening up to the surrounding world. One of the reasons for the increasing importance of collaborative innovation and the breakthrough of the open innovation paradigm is the high level of complexity of many current problems, which require multiple forms of expertise and collective knowledge creation in order to be solved. Today, it is often just too difficult for organizations to create certain innovations by themselves. Realizing creative and ground-breaking solutions require collaboration to connect people with different experiences and knowledge.
Given the recent development, it is reasonable to ask “What kind of things are organizations of today” and “How can they be managed”? These questions are critical for innovation, since our understanding of what organizations are direct our attention, expectations and actions.
Although research on inter-organizational collaboration is increasing, few scholars address it as an issue of organizational importance with implications for management, thus, there is still a need to better understand why inter-organizational collaboration for innovation can be so challenging and what forms of organizing that can support collaborative innovation.
Who are we?
MIB is an international, inter-disciplinary research group. Our research is based on management and organization theory, but is also influenced by other fields in social science. We have extensive experience of exploring e.g. leadership, knowledge sharing, creativity, as well as strategic intentions in multi-actor collaborations.
The complementary competences of our senior faculty allows us to engage in a range of different research projects:
- Professor Susanne Ollila’s research is focused on organizational behavior, innovation management and knowledge management.
- Assistant professor Anna Yström’s research is focused on the organizing and managing of collaborative innovation and collective value creation
- Researcher Kamilla Kohn Rådberg’s research is focused on innovation management and value creation in spaces in-between (from a firm perspective)
Our belief is that organizing and managing spaces in-between is the key to increased innovativeness in organizations and a way to address critical issues related to domains of common concern, such as environmental sustainability, traffic safety and health.
How do we do research?
MIB’s research is founded in a collaborative research tradition, where we strive to contribute to both practical knowing but also theory building. A distinguishing feature of collaborative, or action research, is the tight link between research and action and the deliberate involvement of the researcher in changes to the situation being researched. This is a valuable method when aiming at understanding emerging new practices as well as practices in use.
How do we make a difference?
Through our research, we are pushing the frontiers of a new research field, exploring practices in new organizational settings and theorizing around new forms of organizing and managing for innovation. We are eager to share what we know and learn, both among practitioners as well as in the academic community. The MIB research group frequents academic conferences such as the Academy of Management, EGOS, EURAM and ISPIM to contribute to the discussion around new managerial practices within innovative organizing, and often participate as experts and advisers on e.g. open innovation, triple helix, leadership, knowledge sharing and organizational creativity.