Better together? The pathways and roadblocks to value creation in multi-stakeholder innovation networks

Date: 24 November 2016

Venue: Antwerp Management School, 't Brantijser - Sint-Jacobsmarkt 9-13, Aula K.S. 203 - 2000 ANTWERPEN

Time: 6:00 PM

PhD candidate: Charlotte Reypens

Principal investigator: Prof A. Lievens

Co-principal investigator: Prof V. Blazevic (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Short description: Phd defence Charlotte Reypens - Faculty of Applied Economics


Complex challenges in science and business can no longer be solved by a single entity, but require the expertise of a variety of stakeholders (e.g., universities, governmental bodies, non-profit organizations). As a result, innovation networks are set up that consist of groups of stakeholders who work together to solve common problems related to climate change, poverty, healthcare, and education. Although these multi-stakeholder networks may create innovative value that cannot be created in isolation, they are a complex phenomenon. The pathways to value creation are tangled, evolve over time, and transcend organizational boundaries. Understanding collaborative innovation in these networks therefore requires disentangling performance drivers, taking a process perspective, and including multiple levels of analysis. This dissertation aims to offer such a comprehensive view and examines the topic over time, from the perspective of multiple stakeholders (public and private), and three levels of analysis (the network, organizational, and individual level). This way, we identify the pathways and roadblocks to value creation.

We present the results of four studies, based on four data collections. We first develop an overarching framework of how value is created (network level) and captured (organizational level) in multi-stakeholder innovation networks. We then build on these findings and take the network level of analysis to study how traditional determinants of network performance (e.g., leadership) are affected when including multiple, diverse stakeholders. Next, we consider the organizational level of analysis and study the factors that influence the extent to which organizations benefit from their participation in innovation networks. For these studies, we collect qualitative and quantitative data from one of the largest public-private partnerships in the life sciences. Finally, we zoom in on the individual participants in these collaborations and develop a separate experimental design to study how individuals decide between exploration and exploitation.

We conclude that multi-stakeholder networks allow for the creation of multiple types of value for a wide range of stakeholders. However, to be better together, careful attention must be given to the numerous challenges that arise on the network, organizational, and individual level. By listing the pathways and roadblocks to value creation in multi-stakeholder innovation networks, this dissertation advances our understanding of how innovative value can be achieved above and beyond what individual stakeholders could achieve.