Exploring and exploiting network relationships to commercialize technology. A biofuel case

A4 Conference proceedings

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Christopher John Medlin, Jan-Åke Törnroos
Editors: Cova B, Spencer R
Publication year: 2014
Book title: Proceedings of the Annual IMP Conference



We contribute to the literature with an understanding of how managers can explore and exploit the business network to commercialize a breakthrough technology. The innovator firm must (1) explore the current business network to find partners and gain access to resources, (2) arrange business relationships for exploiting the business network, and (3) explore and find a network-technology fit inside a future business network. The final requirement is essential to innovation commercialization, and further the quality of the network-technology fit will affect the speed and success of the first two processes. Academic literature has questioned how to balance between exploring and exploiting; however the usual focus was from a single firm’s perspective and capability. We contribute to current research by elaborating exploring and exploiting as processes occurring between actors in a dynamic business network. The paper addresses past research on firm exploration and exploitation of the environment and then develops a framework for assessing current and future exploring and exploiting of a business network. An in-depth longitudinal case study of a biofuel development and commercialization exemplifies the conceptual issues in practice. Final sections address managerial implications and future research.

Keywords: adaptation, interaction, processes, network, innovation, technology development

Last updated on 2020-08-08 at 05:30

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