June 2020 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the June issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This issue brings together a mixture of “Insights” into technology entrepreneurship, value proposition development, employee-driven innovation, crowdfunding, technology adaptation and survival of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and business strategy analysis.

The issue starts with a paper by Saurav Pathak & Etayankara Muralidharan, “A Two-Staged Approach to Technology Entrepreneurship: Differential Effects of Intellectual Property Rights”. The authors bring a helpful inter-continental perspective in highlighting the importance of value capture through technology entrepreneurship and innovation. The paper presents a two-stage process that involves access to and use of new technology and technological resources by entrepreneurs, as a way of “understanding the effect of strong IPR regimes on different stages of the innovation process” (p. 5). According to the authors, although IPR regimes may at first suppress the ease of accessibility to the latest technologies for entrepreneurs, if such technologies are eventually made available to them, stricter IPR regimes will likely augment their use in developing technology entrepreneurship innovation.

In “What Makes Value Propositions Distinct and Valuable to New Companies Committed to Scale Rapidly?”, Tony Bailetti, Stoyan Tanev & Christian Keen continue the TIM Review’s focus on value propositions in the context of early and rapidly scaling high-tech companies. Here they address the importance of having a portfolio of value propositions that align with company scale-up strategies. They claim that there are two features in particular that make value propositions of new companies distinct: 1. business transactions between the company and its external stakeholders, and 2. investments to create and improve company’s value propositions. The paper discusses the features that make a value proposition distinct from other new company resources, along with the factors that make it valuable or beneficial to a company.

The following paper, “Is Porter's Five Forces (P5F) Framework Still Relevant? A study of the capital/labour intensity continuum via mining and IT industries”, by Diane Isabelle, draws upon the work of her former students Kevin Horak, Sarah McKinnon & Chiara Palumbo.   Isabelle and the students continue the work of Michael E. Porter on business strategy analysis to offer a modified framework augmented by four additional forces: the competitor's level of innovativeness, exposure to globalization, threat of digitalization, and industry exposure to de/regulation activities. They claim that the augmentation is needed because “in this era of internationalization, global value chains, a relentless pace of innovation, and changing regulatory environments, additional forces are applicable to both capital and labor-intensive industries” (p. 37). The paper notes one of its constructive aims of “inciting managers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to monitor the global business environment of specific industries beyond the traditional five forces to help avoid flawed decision-making” (p. 29).

Next, Chukwuemeka K. Echebiri presents “An Empirical Study into the Individual-Level Antecedents to Employee-Driven Innovation (EDI)”. Echebiri notes that “organizations today expect more creativity, innovation, and involvement from employees in the rapidly changing business environment” (p. 42). The paper therefore charts a path to understand EDI through an analysis of self-leadership, the need for autonomy, and overall job autonomy. The research was conducted through a survey of 315 banking sector employees. One of the takeaways from the paper is that employees with a high need for autonomy are in a better position to self-lead themselves,. The paper looks at both individual and organisational levels, pointing out that “[i]dea development and implementation require a level of self-leadership on the part of employees that runs beyond resources and other factors associated with the organizational domain” (p. 49).

The next two papers are a continuation of the previous special issue on digitalization and internationalization (https://timreview.ca/issue/1341). In “Fundraising Campaigns in a Digital Economy: Lessons from a Swiss Synthetic Diamond Venture's Initial Coin Offering (ICO)”, Jahja Rrustemi & Nils S. Tuchschmid raise challenging cutting-edge issues involving the financial industry, crowdfunding, venture capital, and cryptocurrencies. They provide a brief introduction to blockchain distributed ledger technology, asset tokenization, and token sales, one of which they tracked in Switzerland. According to the authors the method of ‘tokenization’ seems to be a way for digital economics to be actualised in practise. The paper closes by briefly exploring technology aspects going beyond ICOs, with the newer security token offerings (STOs) and initial exchange offerings (IEOs), within the rapidly changing area of fintech. The paper reveals an approach to potential near-future “entrepreneurial finance” with digitalization, while also addressing the moral hazard in how many ICOs were conducted from 2016-2018. At issue is whether ICOs, STOs, IEOs (or perhaps something newer on the horizon that gets it “just right”) constitute “truly innovative and revolutionary capital raising models for investors” (p. 61).

The final paper is “Technology Adaptation and Survival of SMEs: A Longitudinal Study of Developing Countries” by Supriyo Das, Amit Kundu & Arabinda Bhattacharya. The authors point out that technological development plays a pivotal role in making small and medium enterprises (SMEs) competitive, as well as leading to sustainable growth. The paper thus focuses on sustainability and technology readiness, as well as technological environments in countries with emerging economies, particularly using data from the Global Competitive Index Report (2012-2016). According to the authors, a technological environment is defined by both “institutional capabilities” and “external capabilities”. The paper notes that “sustainable SMEs in developing countries are strongly dependent on technological environments that are resilient and adaptive to the high level of technological volatility at the present time” (p. 69-70).

The TIM Review currently has a Call for Papers on the website for a special edition on “Aligning Multiple Stakeholder Value Propositions. For future issues, we invite general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and scaling technology companies, and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us with potential article ideas and submissions, or proposals for future special issues.


Stoyan Tanev, Editor-in-Chief

Gregory Sandstrom, Managing Editor

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Keywords: Bitcoin, blockchain, crowdfunding, crypto assets, cryptocurrencies, developing countries., distributed ledger technology, Employeedriven innovation, entrepreneurial finance, entrepreneurship, Ethereum, Financial industry, FinTech, ICOs, IEO, innovation, intellectual property rights, internationalization, IT industry, job autonomy, mining industry, moral hazard, need for autonomy, new company, Porter's Five Forces framework, regulation, scaling company value, scaling-up, self-leadership, signaling, SME, STO, sustainability, technological environment, technology, technology readiness, token offering, token sales, tokenization, value proposition, value proposition alignment, venture capital