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

Christopher J. Medlin, Jan-Åke Törnroos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    We seek to understand how ambidexterity of exploring and exploiting is managed in an innovation context. We contribute to the literature by elaborating exploring and exploiting as three processes shared between actors in a dynamic business network. An innovator firm needs to (1) explore the current business network to find partners and gain access to resources, (2) develop business relationships for exploiting the emerging network, and (3) explore and find a network-technology fit inside a future business network. The final process is essential to innovation and commercialization. Further, the quality of the network-technology fit will affect the speed and success of the other two processes. Our contribution provides an understanding of the way in which managers are exploring and exploiting the business network to adapt and commercialize a breakthrough technology. A longitudinal case study of biofuel development and commercialization exemplifies the conceptual issues. Final sections address managerial and research implications.

    • Adaptation;
    • Ambidexterity;
    • Commercialization;
    • Innovation;
    • Processes
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)42–54
    JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • B2B
    • Business networks
    • Business relationships
    • Innovation process
    • marketing

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