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Managing inter-firm collaboration in the fuzzy front-end: Structure as a two-edged sword

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Literature on innovation emphasises the potential for organisations to collaborate and network instead of carrying out innovation individually. Integrating suppliers, customers and other organisations into the innovation process is perceived as a key to success in innovation management (Chesbrough, 2003). Furthermore, the management of the initial phase of the innovation process has proven vital to the overall innovation success (Kim and Wilemon, 2002a,b). Although the merits of network-based innovations are widely acknowledged, the managerial challenges of the initial integration of external organisations in an innovation network are somewhat neglected in the literature. The aim of this paper is hence to address the challenges that an organisation faces when integrating a plurality of suppliers, customers and other organisations into the Fuzzy Front End of the innovation process.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation Management
Pages (from-to)145-163
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Research areas

  • Innovation management, fuzzy front-end, inter-organisational , collaboration , inter-firm

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