Trenkle, Johannes / Beichert, Carl-Philipp (2020): Guidance in the network jungle—a typology of inter-company innovation networks, LFI Working Papers (No. 9), München.

Keywords: inter-organizational networks; innovation networks; SME; cluster analysis

Guidance in the network jungle—a typology of inter-company innovation networks

Johannes Trenkle und Carl-Philipp Beichert



Inter-organizational networks are recognized as a collaborative means of enablingsmall and medium-sized enterprises to compete and innovate in a dynamic envi-ronment. Previous studies have analyzed network types and their characteristics,yet there is no empirically grounded network typology combining and integratingthese lone-standing attributes from either an academic or a practitioner-orientedpoint of view. By applying an explorative, sequential, mixed methodology ap-proach, we11 provide the first typology of innovation networks based on both pre-vious theories and newly generated empirical data. We conduct a directed contentanalysis to compile a comprehensive data set and apply a hierarchical, agglomera-tive clustering approach using the Ward linking method. We contribute to existingacademic network research by providing the first compelling, generic typology ofinter-organizational innovation networks and thereby offer guidance to practition-ers and policy makers in the jungle of word creations around innovation networks.We identify and describe 11 types of formal inter-organizational innovation net-works: Avid Persuaders, Value Chain Drivers, Collective Facilitators, Niche Specialists,Lateral Thinkers, Transnational Opportunity Seekers, Financially Resilient Connectors,Local Trend Sponsors, Regional Activists, Associated Industry Supporters,and Dynamic Research Groups.

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