Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

How to manage innovation processes in extensive networks: a longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-105
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date29 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


In this paper, we examine the managing of the full innovation process, from visioning to commercialisation, in extensive networks. By drawing on the IMP, strategic network, and innovation network literatures, we develop a comprehensive picture of the management activities when ‘mobilizing’, ‘orchestrating’, and ‘involving’ actors in working towards the innovation aim in such network settings. Through using two longitudinal case studies – the one pursuing radical and the other incremental innovation - we provide an empirically refined understanding of seven key management activities (motivating, resourcing, goal setting/refining, consolidating, coordinating, controlling, and leveraging), which are needed throughout the innovation process to turn the diversity of an innovation network into an opportunity rather than an obstacle. We demonstrate how actor diversity and the type of innovation (radical or incremental) shape the management activities, and map a dynamic actor composition that evolves alongside the innovation process. The longitudinal data highlights the consequences of the presence or lack of management activities, and the interlinkages between activities throughout the process. Our findings also provide insights for practitioners on how to cope with the increasing tendency to involve diverse stakeholders in innovation by pinpointing the critical management activities that can be employed.


  • Innovation process, network, management, ecosystem, Commercialization

Publication forum classification