Absorbing radical ideas from unusual sources: the role of social integration mechanisms

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    If companies rely strongly on internal R&D and existing networks their ability to introduce radical innovations may suffer. Opening up to new idea sources may provide a solution. Incumbent companies, however, often suffer from the tendency to reject radical ideas from unusual sources. This study investigates how social integration mechanisms (coordination, socialisation, and systems mechanisms) influence an incumbent steel company’s absorptive capacity (AC). A micro-level analysis of two radical ideas from unusual sources contributes to AC and radical innovation literatures by exploring relationships between social integration mechanisms and four AC capabilities (acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation). The findings suggest that AC capabilities are context specific with respect to innovation novelty and idea source. The results emphasize the negative sides of socialisation and formalisation mechanisms, and the positive effects of coordination mechanisms on the AC capabilities in such high uncertainty contexts.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages131-143
    Number of pages13
    JournalTechnology Analysis and Strategic Management
    Volume30
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Fingerprint

    Absorptive capacity
    Social integration
    Incumbents
    Radical innovation
    Coordination mechanism
    Socialization
    Uncertainty
    Exploitation
    Novelty
    Innovation
    Formalization
    Steel
    Levels of analysis

    Keywords

    • absorptive capacity
    • radical innovation
    • technology and innovation studies
    • case study

    OKM Publication Types

    • A1 Refereed journal article

    OKM Open Access Status

    • 0 Not Open Access

    Cite this

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    abstract = "If companies rely strongly on internal R&D and existing networks their ability to introduce radical innovations may suffer. Opening up to new idea sources may provide a solution. Incumbent companies, however, often suffer from the tendency to reject radical ideas from unusual sources. This study investigates how social integration mechanisms (coordination, socialisation, and systems mechanisms) influence an incumbent steel company’s absorptive capacity (AC). A micro-level analysis of two radical ideas from unusual sources contributes to AC and radical innovation literatures by exploring relationships between social integration mechanisms and four AC capabilities (acquisition, assimilation, transformation, and exploitation). The findings suggest that AC capabilities are context specific with respect to innovation novelty and idea source. The results emphasize the negative sides of socialisation and formalisation mechanisms, and the positive effects of coordination mechanisms on the AC capabilities in such high uncertainty contexts.",
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    Absorbing radical ideas from unusual sources : the role of social integration mechanisms. / Pihlajamaa, Matti.

    In: Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Vol. 30, No. 2, 2018, p. 131-143.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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