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Articles in Industry and Innovation 26/04:


Original Articles:


Institutional entrepreneurship and social innovation at the base of the pyramid: the case of M-Pesa in Kenya
By: Elsie Onsongo


Abstract: This paper explores the agency of multinational corporations that perform social innovation under conditions of institutional complexity and resource constraints. Insights are drawn from a case study of Vodafone Group Plc and Safaricom Kenya Ltd that engaged in mobile money innovation in Kenya. The paper identifies three types of institutional voids that entrepreneurs can exploit to implement a social innovation: market, policy and social voids. Legitimating the social innovation involves appealing to the instrumental needs of target users, early and sustained engagement with policy-makers and redefining meanings of both incumbent and new technologies. The paper argues that spanning institutional voids – which provide entrepreneurial opportunities – also provide contingent legitimation narratives that can be targeted at different audiences. By mobilising insights from institutional theory, this paper provides a fresh perspective of social innovation in a base of the pyramid context.


Uncovering moderators of organisational ambidexterity: evidence from the pharmaceutical industry
By: Osamu Suzuki


Abstract: Our manuscript advances the growing literature on organisational ambidexterity by arguing that organisational ambidexterity more positively influences organisational performance when there are more learning obstacles to pursue both exploitation and exploration. Extending this argument, we identify five conditions under which organisational ambidexterity more positively influences long-term organisational performance. The conditions include the degree of environmental dynamism, competition, organisational size, organisational slack and organisational senescence. An empirical analysis of 50 pharmaceutical firms’ new product development characteristics and financial performance over a 20-year period supports our argument. Our findings inform future research on organisational ambidexterity by more specifically explaining the way in which organisational ambidexterity enables organisational survival and prosperity.


Linking the bottom-up and top-down evolution of regional innovation systems to policy: organizations, support structures and learning processes
By: Rune Njøs & Jens Kristian Fosse


Abstract: The literature is ambiguous about whether regional innovation systems (RIS) evolve bottom-up or top-down. This is reflected in RIS policies, which tend to focus on either development of the actor level, i.e. organizations in a RIS, or the system level, i.e. the support structure for innovation. Here, we analyzed a Norwegian RIS policy programme, the Programme for Regional R&D and Innovation (VRI), which aimed to combine both approaches. We found that VRI mainly developed the support structure for innovation and that learning outcomes from VRI involvement in organizations differed between the involved actor groups. This is particularly so for RIS development in regions inexperienced with support structure development prior to VRI involvement. Conversely, in regions with well-functioning support structures prior to VRI, the focus was most beneficially on stimulating learning at the actor level. We argue that future research should investigate mechanisms and interlinkages between the two levels and especially their regional particularities.


The effect of innovation on productivity: evidence from Turkish manufacturing firms
By: Burcu Fazlıoğlu, Başak Dalgıç & Ahmet Burçin Yereli


Abstract: This paper systematically explores the effects of firms’ innovation activities on their productivity changes for Turkish manufacturing firms, differentiating between different typologies of innovation. We employ endogenous switching methodology, controlling for endogeneity and selection bias issues, as well as analysing counterfactual scenarios. The main finding of the study points to firm heterogeneity in terms of propensity both to innovate and to benefit from innovation activities. Our results indicate that all types of innovation activity have positive effects on the productivity of firms when compared with non-innovating firms. We find robust evidence for the differential impact of innovation on firm productivity across different innovation types. Further, this relationship alters across different phases of the economy with respect to the 2008 financial crisis.


Dynamic increasing returns and innovation diffusion: bringing Polya Urn processes to the empirical data
By: Giovanni Dosi, Alessio Moneta & Elena Stepanova


Abstract: The patterns of innovation diffusion are well approximated by the logistic curves. This is the robust empirical fact confirmed by many studies in innovations dynamics. Here, we show that the logistic pattern of innovation diffusion can be replicated by the time-dependent stochastic process with positive feedbacks along the diffusion trajectory. The dynamic increasing returns process is modelled by Polya Urns. So far, Urn models have been mostly used to study the [path-dependent] limit properties. On the contrary, this work focuses on the transient [finite time] properties studying the conditions under which urn models capture the logistic trajectories which often track empirical diffusion process. As examples, we calibrate the process to match several cases of diffusion of motor ships in European countries.


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