Knowledge, Networking and Innovation: Developing a Process Perspective

J. Swan, M. Robertson, and H. Scarbrough (UK)


Networking, innovation, knowledge


The need for innovation is frequently cited as a major reason for the emergence of network forms of organization. Networks are thus seen as institutional structures appropriate for encouraging organizational members to learn and, correspondingly, develop innovative practices. Yet, despite this observation, relatively little research has focused explicitly on the dynamic links between networks and the development and utilization of knowledge during innovation. This paper develops a processual account of the role of networking in the innovation process. The paper analyses the various roles of networks in the design, diffusion and implementation of innovation in an attempt to provide a more dynamic account of the links between networking and the creation and utilization of knowledge during different episodes of the innovation process. It uses the example of a particular technological innovation Computer Aided Production Management (CAPM) to construct an historically-based longitudinal account encompassing the development, diffusion and implementation of this technology.

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