July 2018 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the July 2018 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This month’s editorial theme is Innovation Management in recognition of the ongoing partnership between this journal and the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). ISPIM is a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants, and public bodies who share an interest in innovation management.

Next year’s event in North America – ISPIM Connects Ottawa – will be held in Ottawa, Canada, from April 7–10, 2019. The TIM Review and its associated academic program at Carleton University, the TIM Program, are proud to be the local hosts of the event in collaboration with other partners. See Box 1 (below) for further details about this event.

About this issue

In this issue, the authors share insights on a variety of innovation management topics, and all of the articles have links to ISPIM. The first three articles were developed from papers presented at the 2018 ISPIM Innovation Forum in Boston, USA; the last two articles feature authors who play key leadership roles in the ISPIM community and its Special Interest Groups.

In the first article, Magnus Hoppe from Mälardalen University in Sweden introduces the Prime Mover Matrix – a model to help management build strategic innovation capacity, which requires a company to deliberately build its technical innovative capacity and business innovative capacity in relation to the influence of other actors’ actions and innovations. The Prime Mover Matrix is intended to act as a “conversation piece” in the sense that it helps managers engage in strategic conversations about the technical and business aspects of a company’s innovation capacity.

Next, Victoria Lakiza and Isabelle Deschamps from Polytechnique Montreal in Canada report on action research to help a company better manage innovation by first developing key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure it. Their research focuses on established, execution-oriented companies, which struggle to overcome a focus on executing everyday routines and to reverse an associated reduction in innovation capabilities. They describe key challenges the case company met during their KPI development project, and they offer practical recommendations for others seeking to develop and then implement KPIs in execution-oriented firms.

Then, Rebecca Hirte from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany examines the role of middle managers in the implementation of a corporate incubator by conducting an in-depth case study within a large German automotive company. Interviews with 13 middle managers revealed key challenges and success factors – at both the individual and organizational levels – in the implementation of a corporate incubator as an instrument of innovation and change. The findings from this study are particularly relevant for managers of large corporations who are considering incubation as a means of transforming their organization in response to digitalization and unpredictable markets.

Next, Mika Westerlund from Carleton University in Canada, Seppo Leminen from Aalto University in Finland, and Mervi Rajahonka from the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences XAMK use topic modelling to analyze 86 publications from this journal to understand how the phenomenon of living labs has been approached in the recent innovation management literature. They identify and interpret seven broad topics (Design, Ecosystem, City, University, Innovation, User, and Living lab) and highlight a trend in the research on living labs, which is moving away from an initial conceptual focus to a more practical focus on design and management.

Finally, Paavo Ritala from Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, and Robin Gustafsson from Aalto University, Finland, report on a recent real-time survey conducted with participants in a workshop on innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem research. The overall aim of the survey was to take stock of the field by asking Where are we now, and how do we move forward? They present the survey’s findings and interpret themes emerging from the participant’s views on the value of the ecosystem concept, research challenges in the field, promising theoretical foundations, requirements for rigorous empirical studies on ecosystems, and future research priorities.

Box 1. ISPIM Connects Ottawa

ISPIM Connects Ottawa is a three-day event that will bring together world-renowned innovation managers, researchers, and business and thought leaders to share insights on specific local and global innovation challenges. Hosted by local universities in partnership with industry and the public sector, ISPIM Connects Ottawa seeks participation, submissions and presentations from academia, industry, research organizations, consultants, intermediaries, and policy makers.

Ottawa is Canada’s Capital City and it boasts a highly educated and skilled technology workforce, world-class research and higher-education institutions, strong startup ecosystems, and nearly 2,000 knowledge-based businesses. But, it takes more than that to stand out on the global stage. Invest Ottawa – the city’s leading economic development agency – recently completed its new strategic plan, which focuses on the city’s need to create local capability to be competitive in global markets, with the ultimate goal of cementing Ottawa’s status as a global technology hub. With this goal in mind, ISPIM Connects Ottawa will highlight three local innovation challenges that are also of global importance:

  • Scaling Startups: How can we design and sustain a startup ecosystem in a way that enables new ventures to grow early, rapidly, and securely? How can we help startups quickly reach a scale where they can make a real impact on the local economy and in global markets?
  • Adopting AI and Analytics: How can we move from hype to real customer value and competitive advantage? How can we transform the use of AI and machine learning to enable SME innovation and growth? How do we encourage adoption while navigating ethical issues?
  • Innovating with Government: How can we encourage collaboration between industry and government to drive innovation and provide benefit to citizens? How we can use this as an opportunity to develop advanced capacity and capability in startups, SMEs, and large companies?

ISPIM Connects Ottawa will also feature various other innovation management topics, as detailed in the call for submissions.

Upcoming issues

In August, the theme is Transdisciplinary Innovation, and our guest editors will be Martin Bliemel and Mieke van der Bijl-Brouwer, who are both from the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Looking ahead to other future issues, I am pleased to announce a call for papers for an upcoming special issue on Action Research with guest editors Magnus Hoppe (the author of the first article in this issue) and Erik Lindhult from Mälardalen University in Sweden, which arose from discussions at past ISPIM events. The submission deadline for abstracts is October 1, 2018. Please see the call for papers for details.

For our regular issues, we are also accepting general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains.

Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions, and proposals for future special issues.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: corporate incubators, entrepreneurial ecosystems, innovation capacity, innovation ecosystems, Innovation management, ISPIM, KPIs, living labs, middle managers, topic modelling