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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Annika Tidström, Paavo Ritala and Kirsi Lainema

The purpose of this paper is to explore interactional and procedural practices in managing tensions of coopetition (simultaneous collaboration and competition between firms).

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2153

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore interactional and procedural practices in managing tensions of coopetition (simultaneous collaboration and competition between firms).

Design/methodology/approach

Through an in-depth literature review of prior research within coopetition and strategy-as-practice fields, and by using two illustrative empirical examples, the authors develop a framework for preventing and managing coopetitive tensions through combinations of procedural and interactional practices.

Findings

The authors identify tensions related to strategizing, task and resource allocation, as well as knowledge sharing. Furthermore, they demonstrate potential ways of how these tensions can be prevented, resolved and managed.

Research limitations/implications

The findings show that the analysis of tensions in coopetition would benefit from a holistic, multilevel approach that recognizes practices that are interactional (i.e. face-to-face interactions) as well as procedural (i.e. organizational routines). Coopetitive tensions and their resolution are related to the use or neglect of both types of practices. Furthermore, interactional and procedural practices are mutually interdependent and can complement each other in tension management in various ways.

Practical implications

The findings of this study shed light on the roles and activities of actual practitioners involved in coopetition, and shows how their work and practices in-use contribute to coopetition, related tensions and their resolution.

Originality/value

By adopting the strategy-as-practice approach, this study generates valuable insights into the practices and tensions in coopetition, as well as illuminates the roles of the practitioners involved in managing coopetition relationships.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Henri Hussinki, Aino Kianto, Mika Vanhala and Paavo Ritala

This paper aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on the contextualization of knowledge-oriented research by examining the universality of knowledge management (KM…

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1889

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the emerging discussion on the contextualization of knowledge-oriented research by examining the universality of knowledge management (KM) practices. Knowledge is a firm’s most valuable resource, and KM, or the ability to leverage knowledge resources, constitutes the base for the firm’s competitive advantages.

Design/methodology/approach

A theorized ten-fold conceptualization of KM practices is tested on a sample of 622 firms from four countries (Finland, Spain, China and Russia). Confirmatory factor analysis and principal component analysis are used to test the applicability of the concept in various country contexts.

Findings

The findings provide interesting evidence of variation in the managerial assessment of KM practices among countries. This shows that KM practices are socially embedded phenomena, affected by the managers’ institutional and cultural contexts.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers and managers are advised to be mindful of the differences in terms of KM practices between the studied countries and to display a certain cultural sensitivity when approaching KM.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to examine the managerially assessed structure of KM practices in a cross-country context with multi-firm datasets. The results will help to determine the similarity of KM practices in four economically and culturally distinct countries. It also adds to the discussion about the potential national peculiarities of KM and provides a novel concept of KM practices, which is tested in a cross-national context. Thus, this study provides an outline for future KM studies and increases managerial understanding about the variety of value-creating KM practices.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Ismail Gölgeci, Imran Ali, Paavo Ritala and Ahmad Arslan

Service ecosystems are becoming an important domain of joint value creation and resource integration, and the literature in the field is burgeoning. The recent growth in…

Abstract

Purpose

Service ecosystems are becoming an important domain of joint value creation and resource integration, and the literature in the field is burgeoning. The recent growth in the literature warrants consolidating the findings of the existing literature, summarizing the recent development and identifying avenues for more impactful future research on the topic. This study aims to map the service ecosystems research domain and synthesize insights by integrating qualitative content analysis with quantitative data analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses algorithmic bibliometric review (quantitative) with VOSviewer and R-package and content analysis (qualitative) on 119 service ecosystems papers published between 2003 and 2020.

Findings

The bibliometric analysis uncovers the critical research domains, knowledge trajectories, influential authors and journals and author networks in the field. The content analysis identifies the four most important research themes (value creation, change triggers, strategic and entrepreneurial action and institutional embeddedness and agency) and provides an integrative view of the dynamics among these themes. The authors also find the need for more empirical and theory grounded research around these four themes. Furthermore, based on the review, the authors discuss the disciplinary identity of the service ecosystems field and suggest interesting future research opportunities, along with ideas for useful empirical approaches and theoretical extensions.

Originality/value

This study’s comprehensive analysis offers an overview of the evolution and identity of the service ecosystems research and identifies several promising opportunities for future research on service ecosystems.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Jimmi Normann Kristiansen and Paavo Ritala

Firms frequently struggle with measuring the performance of their radical innovation activities. Due to the uncertainty and ambiguity involved, key performance indicators…

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5481

Abstract

Purpose

Firms frequently struggle with measuring the performance of their radical innovation activities. Due to the uncertainty and ambiguity involved, key performance indicators (KPIs) used for incremental innovation projects are often not useful in this context. The purpose of this paper is to explore suitable KPIs particularly useful for radical innovation projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study first reviews commonly used measures for innovation projects, which is then followed by case-study evidence from three industry-leading international firms. This study includes 13 in-depth interviews with innovation managers and directors in these firms, providing insights on how they measure the progress and performance of radical innovation projects.

Findings

KPIs used commonly in incremental innovation showed lackluster results in the case firms and were problematic for radical innovation context. A key finding was that radical innovation project performance should be evaluated based on the process rather than on the expected outcome. Concurrently, based on the literature review and the cases, three sets of KPIs with 13 specific KPIs useful for radical innovation projects are proposed.

Originality/value

The paper addresses a core challenge in using established KPIs in a radical innovation context. The paper gathers and synthesizes a range of measurement points suitable for radical innovation projects and provides specific suggestions for appropriate metrics that innovation managers can use.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Nancy Bocken and Paavo Ritala

Circular business models can improve resource use in a financially and environmentally feasible way. However, companies struggle to choose among the vast variety of ways…

Abstract

Purpose

Circular business models can improve resource use in a financially and environmentally feasible way. However, companies struggle to choose among the vast variety of ways to achieve circularity within a business model. The purpose of this paper is to offer a pragmatic guide for making strategic decisions on circular business models.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a conceptual model of six different strategic approaches to circular business models and provides examples to business cases and practice to illustrate these.

Findings

This study identifies two critical strategy choices companies should make. First, an innovation strategy addresses the extent to which circularity is achieved with internal or external stakeholders. Second, a resource strategy addresses how companies achieve circularity by narrowing, slowing or closing resource loops. Using examples from business practice, this study illustrates how the combinations of these two strategies can be used to design competitive circular business models. Key managerial questions are also identified to help decide upon a feasible strategy for circular business model innovation.

Originality/value

While different types of circular business models have been described, it is less clear what the strategic choices are that companies need to make to find feasible business cases for circularity in terms of value proposition, value creation and delivery and value capture. This study outlines these through a “circular business model strategy framework”.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2018

Päivi Karhu and Paavo Ritala

Managerial decisions ultimately determine the success or failure of a business strategy, and difficulties often arise when managers must decide how best to allocate scarce…

Abstract

Purpose

Managerial decisions ultimately determine the success or failure of a business strategy, and difficulties often arise when managers must decide how best to allocate scarce resources between activities. Adopting a cognitive framing perspective, this study aims to explore managers’ accounts of decision-making problems and how they solve them.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with 18 managers from the Austrian beverage industry were analysed to identify the kinds of decision-making problems they encounter and to understand how they solved those problems.

Findings

The participating managers perceived challenging decision-making problems as either a dilemma or a paradox. Dilemmas were resolved by committing entirely to one alternative or by focussing on one alternative at a time. In the case of paradoxes, managers looked for creative solutions, blending experimentation, humour and past experiences to create outside-the-box solutions that would simultaneously engage all alternatives.

Originality/value

This study provides empirical evidence of how managers frame challenging problems as dilemmas or paradoxes, and what types of coping mechanisms they use to identify and execute feasible solutions. While the current literature tends to emphasize the benefits of framing problems as paradoxes, the present findings also confirm the usefulness of dilemma-based solutions. A better understanding of these processes can help managers to make more thoughtful and better decisions.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2017

Henri Hussinki, Paavo Ritala, Mika Vanhala and Aino Kianto

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association of different configurations of intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management practices (KMP) with firm…

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4593

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the association of different configurations of intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management practices (KMP) with firm performance. Do firms with different profiles concerning their overall levels of IC and KMP differ in terms of innovation and market performance?

Design/methodology/approach

First, the firms were distributed into four distinct profiles based on their overall level of IC and utilization of KMP. Then, the four different IC/KMP profiles were evaluated with regard to their innovation and market performance.

Findings

Consistent with the extant research, this study finds that the firms characterized with high levels of IC and high use of KMP are likely to outperform the firms with low overall levels of IC and KMP. On more interesting note, this study also demonstrates that firms characterized with high level of IC but only low utilization of KMP can match the innovation performance of the firms with high levels of IC and KMP.

Practical implications

While the results indicate that the level of IC alone could predict the innovation potential of the firm, the firms should use KMP to leverage the IC and to capitalize the knowledge potential. This result shows the merits of letting innovation flourish without strict managerial control, while pinpointing the relevance of knowledge management (KM) in exploitation of IC.

Originality/value

As one of the first attempts to merge the IC and KM approaches to find out which configurations could influence firm performance outcomes, this study provides the research community with valuable insights and sets the tone for further discussion.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Carmela Peñalba-Aguirrezabalaga, Paavo Ritala and Josune Sáenz

The importance of integrating both internal and external knowledge into the product/service innovation process has been widely recognized in the knowledge management and…

Abstract

Purpose

The importance of integrating both internal and external knowledge into the product/service innovation process has been widely recognized in the knowledge management and innovation literature. Likewise, the role of the marketing and sales function as a driver of innovation has been stressed because of its market-facing role. However, limited research has investigated the complementarity of both internal and external knowledge regarding product/service innovation performance in a marketing context. The purpose of this study is to analyze marketing departments’ role in accessing internal and external knowledge resources (i.e. marketing-specific relational capital [RC]) to reach improved product and service innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis uses empirical evidence collected by a structured survey of 346 respondents representing marketing and sales functions in Spanish companies.

Findings

The survey revealed that marketing-specific internal relational capital at the department and inter-department levels, as well as noncustomer external RC, are directly associated with product/service innovation performance. Further, the analyses show that the relationship between customer-specific RC and innovation performance is mediated by other types of RC, making it a fundamental antecedent to the innovation process. Finally, significant differences in marketing-specific RC subcomponents were found between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) firms.

Originality/value

This study makes a valuable contribution to marketing and management literature by revealing the types of social interactions in the marketing function that enable access to knowledge sources that promote successful product/service innovation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2021

Carmela Peñalba-Aguirrezabalaga, Josune Sáenz, Paavo Ritala and Mika Vanhala

This paper aims to adopt a contextual approach to the knowledge-performance linkage by deepening into the role of marketing and sales employees’ knowledge resources in the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to adopt a contextual approach to the knowledge-performance linkage by deepening into the role of marketing and sales employees’ knowledge resources in the generation and delivery of superior customer experiences (CEs) and into the motivational antecedents of knowledge acquisition and development.

Design/methodology/approach

To gather information about the variables studied in this research, a survey was conducted among Spanish firms with at least 100 employees, resulting in a representative sample of 346 companies. Structural equation modeling based on partial least squares was then applied to test the hypothesized relationships.

Findings

The results show that employees’ motivation (and especially intrinsic motivation) affects CE both directly and indirectly through its influence on marketing-specific human capital. More precisely, customer knowledge and different types of marketing-related skills (creativity, targeting, problem-solving, social media management and communication skills) are the only constituents of marketing-specific human capital that significantly affect relative CE performance (i.e. performance vis-à-vis competitors), while product/service and market knowledge do not play a relevant role.

Originality/value

The results contribute both to the knowledge management and intellectual capital literatures by highlighting the motivational levers of human capital in the context of the marketing and sales function and the specific types of employee knowledge resources that induce superior CEs. Consequently, marketing and sales managers are provided with useful guidance to shape their human resource management policies and to establish their knowledge priorities.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 14 February 2018

Paavo Ritala, Kenneth Husted, Heidi Olander and Snejina Michailova

Inter-firm collaborative innovation typically requires knowledge sharing among individuals employed by collaborating firms. However, it is also associated with…

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1772

Abstract

Purpose

Inter-firm collaborative innovation typically requires knowledge sharing among individuals employed by collaborating firms. However, it is also associated with considerable risks, especially if the knowledge sharing process is not handled using proper judgment. Such risks have been acknowledged in the literature, but the underlying empirical evidence remains unclear. This study aims to examine how sharing of business-critical knowledge with external collaboration partners affects firm’s innovation performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop a mediating model and hypotheses predicting that the uncontrolled sharing of knowledge leads to accidental knowledge leakage, which, in turn, hinders particularly firm’s radical innovation performance. The authors test the model by using a survey of 150 technology-intensive firms in Finland and a partial least squares structural equation model. The mediating model is tested with incremental and radical innovation performance, and the authors control for firm size, age, R&D intensity and industry.

Findings

The authors find strong support for the model in that uncontrolled external knowledge sharing leads to accidental knowledge leaking and to lower radical innovation performance. The same results are not found for incremental innovation, implying that uncontrolled knowledge leakage is especially detrimental to radical innovation.

Originality/value

These findings help in better understanding some of the downsides of too much openness and lack of judgment about knowledge sharing beyond the boundaries of the firm. Thus, firms pursuing radical innovation should carefully guide their employees with regard to what knowledge they share, to what extent they share it and with whom they share it.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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