Extending the boundary of corporate innovation

Amy Muller (Amy Muller is a principal at Strategos where she focuses on strategy innovation in the technology and consumer goods industries. Prior to joining Strategos she was a Director of Corporate Strategy at AT&T, responsible for evaluating the economic and technical drivers of the communications industry (amuller@strategos.com))
Liisa Välikangas (Liisa Välikangas is director of research at the Strategos Institute. During her career her research targets have included world competitiveness while she was at IMD in Switzerland, leadership and organizational change while at Keio Business School in Japan, organizational learning while at Stanford, and innovation and knowledge management while at SRI Consulting (lvalikangas@strategos.com).)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Publication date: 1 June 2002


The corporate boundaries that matter today are the boundaries that define and contain the corporation’s innovation searches. This article examines how innovation can be extended outside the traditional corporate boundary. After identifying several factors that are driving extended innovation ‐‐ and, in so doing, changing the value‐creating nature of the firm ‐‐ the authors present extended innovation strategies for companies in either mature industries (where the industry structure is established( or emerging opportunity spaces (where the competitive structure and industry dynamics have yet to crystallize). In mature industries such as retail, new ideas are most likely to be found in the “white spaces” between companies. Companies should pursue these opportunities through cross‐company alliances that recombine assets and competencies. In emerging spaces such as biotechnology, where the locations of opportunities are unknown, companies should pursue explorative collaborations that emphasize low‐cost probing and learning.



Muller, A. and Välikangas, L. (2002), "Extending the boundary of corporate innovation", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 4-9. https://doi.org/10.1108/10878570210427891

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Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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