Innovation intermediation and adoption of digital computing by Swedish business

Start date 01/07/2015
End date The project is closed: 30/06/2018
​The project takes the concept of innovation intermediation as departure for a historical study of the integration of digital computer technology into Swedish business practices. Creating new business practices with new technology can seldom be carried out by a single firm. Technology-based innovation is a process embedded in network relations and facilitated by innovation intermediaries which stand between knowledge and user and facilitate adoption.

The project is organized as seven case studies:
two innovation intermediaries which were instrumental in the first phase of adoption in the 1950s: the Swedish Board for Computing machinery and the IDP-group.
the industrial dynamics and influence of three types of knowledge intensive business services (service bureau, IT consulting, management consulting) 
three computer-based innovation processes where intermediaries played a key part: industrial automation, management control and logistics

The project aims at: 
contributing to the Swedish and international understanding of business computing in the mainframe age
adding substance to the widespread idea of Sweden as an early adopter of information technology
providing insight into the innovation dynamics of Swedish business in the age of Fordist organisation 
adding a dimension pertaining to ideology and social construction of technology to the innovation literature
adding an historical dimension to the international scholarship on innovation intermediation

​Handelsbankens forskningsstiftelser

Published: Wed 21 Oct 2015.