New space and agile innovation: Understanding transition to open innovation by examining innovation networks and moments

Matjaz Vidmar*, Alessandro Rosiello, Niki Vermeulen, Robin Williams, Julian Dines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This paper is building a detailed understanding of the organisational structures and practices in SMEs' knowledge absorption from a network of innovation partners. In particular, it explores the relationship between the openness of innovation process through innovation networks and the development of organisational structures within firms, as well as its linkage to a regional sectoral environment. It proposes a new conceptual tool of “innovation moments”, to synthesise the key theoretical premises of knowledge management, organisational learning and absorptive capacity literatures. In order to study this vital nexus of phenomena, we propose to deploy a novel mixed methods approach of combining quantitative ego-centric Social Network Analysis (Ego-SNA) and qualitative derived narratives of product development experiences via a sensitising concept, to study the emergence and development of the New Space Sector in Scotland. The findings show that the type of the SME – “traditional” versus New Space and upstream versus downstream – is clearly related to the structure of the firms' ego-centric innovation networks and their position in the composite whole network. Furthermore, by using qualitative case study data we show that the firms' typology is also closely related to internal organisational features, in particular flattening hierarchical structures and the formalisation and standardisation within NPD processes. This paper argues that the interlinking of these two elements is poised to describe a cultural shift in the approach to innovation networking and new product development (NPD) process management, understanding of which is a critical element of examining Open Innovation in SMEs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalActa astronautica
Early online date24 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • absorptive capacity
  • innovation moments
  • innovation networks
  • innovation systems
  • new product development
  • new space
  • open innovation


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