Network board continuity and effectiveness of open innovation in Swedish strategic small-firm networks

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Increasing adoption of open innovation as an alternative route to research and development necessitates the development of new ways to organize innovation, as well as reassessment of existing ways. Much like traditional corporations that subscribe to the closed innovation paradigm, novel organizational arrangements targeting open innovation, such as small-firm networks, employ boards to effectively manage joint research-and-development activities. These boards are similar yet different from traditional corporate boards; as such, they may have different requirements for proper functioning. We use 5-year longitudinal data on 53 Swedish strategic small-firm networks to investigate how the boards should be organized to help improve the innovative status of network participants. We expand the set of tools available for effective organization of the boards' operations and emphasize the effects of network board continuity (rates of renewal) on network members' innovative performance. We argue that the relationship is curvilinear (U-shaped) and demonstrate that it is more pronounced in larger networks.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden., Email: 2: Graduate School of Management, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242-0001, USA., Email: 3: Umeå School of Business, Umeå University, SE-901 87 Umeå, Sweden., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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