June 2018 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the June 2018 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. The authors in this issue share insights on fostering an entrepreneurial culture for innovation within a large organization, developing business models for 3D printing technology, understanding the evolving roles of living labs and innovation integrators in civic innovation systems, and encouraging university–industry collaboration through jointly organized doctoral programs.

In the first article, Dev Dutta from the University of New Hampshire in the United States examines twenty years of Amazon’s Letters to Shareholders to gain insights into the company’s entrepreneurial culture. The content analysis of these historical documents identified that Amazon’s entrepreneurial culture has celebrated a spirit of “self-competition” and has encouraged ongoing innovation throughout the company’s lifecycle by embracing ideas such as a “day 1 mentality”, “customer centricity”, and a “human capital focus”. The study findings have useful insights for entrepreneurs, founding teams, and corporate managers engaged in developing an entrepreneurial culture within their own organizations.

Next, Christina Öberg, Tawfiq Shams, and Nader Asnafi from Örebro University in Sweden examine the literature on 3D printing technology and additive manufacturing from a business model perspective. Based on their findings from a review of 116 journal articles, they argue that firms must take a more holistic view of the challenges and opportunities arising from additive manufacturing, especially with respect to interactions with customers and partners, cost structures, and required competences. They also identify several promising research streams to better understand the impact of additive manufacturing on business models.

Then, Matthew Claudel from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States considers the evolution of civic innovation systems with a focus on two organizational models: living labs and innovation integrators. He observes that such organizations commonly act as “hubs” within their wider ecosystem, at least initially. Over time, their roles evolve as a result of changes in their surrounding urban contexts, and the task of developing urban technology is then no longer the responsibility of a single hub organization – it becomes a collaborative goal shared by multiple actors on a project-by-project basis. Claudel argues that we should look beyond these individual organizations to consider the city as a sociotechnical system, and we should adjust our practices and theoretical frameworks accordingly.

Finally, Leena Kunttu from the University of Vaasa, Essi Huttu from DIMECC Ltd, and Yrjö Neuvo from Aalto University in Finland, illustrate how doctoral students and graduates can facilitate university–industry collaboration by acting as boundary spanners. Drawing insights from three jointly organized doctoral education and postdoctoral mobility programs, the authors show how industrial firms may facilitate the transfer of academic knowledge to industry to the benefit of individuals and organizations on both sides of the university–industry boundary.

In July, we will feature articles on Innovation Management by authors from the ISPIM community. ISPIM – the International Society for Professional Innovation Management – is a network of researchers, industrialists, consultants, and public bodies who share an interest in innovation management. The TIM Review and its associated graduate program at Carleton University, the TIM Program, are pleased to be extending our ongoing partnership with ISPIM by hosting ISPIM Connects Ottawa, a three-day event that will bring together top international innovation managers, researchers, and thought leaders to share insights on local and global innovation challenges. The July issue of the TIM Review will include further details of the event and its call for submissions. ISPIM Connects Ottawa will be held from April 7–10, 2019 in Ottawa, Canada.

For future issues, we are accepting general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains.

Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions, and proposals for future special issues.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Amazon, boundary spanning, business models, civic innovation, culture, entrepreneurship, innovation integrators, knowledge transfer, living labs, sociotechnical systems, startup, university–industry collaboration