May 2021 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the May issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This issue consists of a mixture of themes structured under our usual “Insights” title.

The issue opens with André Renz and Gergana Vladova’s paper, “Reinvigorating the Discourse on Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence in Educational Technologies”. The paper develops the relatively new topic of human-centered AI (HCAI) by presenting a report on how AI systems have been tried, along with how they can be developed in line with human values in a way that poses fewer risks to humanity. The research shows how artificial intelligence-supported educational systems, or AI in education (AIED) has become increasingly relevant for educators and students, while at the same time the EdTech community is still in the early stages of incorporating AI into tools for teaching and learning purposes. While the authors note that AI applications have increased dramatically in recent years, they believe AIED arouses still greater opportunities with massive innovation potential that will have an impact across the education sector.

The second paper by Wenting Zou, Saara A. Brax, and Risto Rajala addresses “The Effects of Competence-Based, Expressive and Collaborative Service Performance on the B2B Service Relationship”. The authors highlight the importance of service performance as an indispensable ingredient in successful business relationships. Yet, due to the complex character of B2B relationships, service performance has become a “multi-faceted issue”. The paper investigates the effects of these multiple dimensions on the buyer-supplier relationship. It uses a structural equation model to test multiple hypotheses with a sample of 141 purchasing professionals from 23 countries. The paper concludes by drawing attention to the role service providers have in ensuring business continuity with customers by investing in expressive and collaborative service performance and their impact on customer repurchase intentions. The study is among the first to examine the influence of both service performance and relationship performance on repurchase intentions in B2B services.

This is followed by Jasmine A. Shaw, and Steven M. Muegge’s paper, “Ecosystems, Design, and Glocalization: A multi-level study of Technovation”. The authors present a multilevel, embedded case study of the Technovation Girls competition, which is the world’s largest technology entrepreneurship challenge for girls. They explore the global and local ecosystems anchored around Technovation, including Mexico and Canada, by first providing a definition of the process and platform that drive this ecosystem. Following this, they identify key architectural features and properties of global-local ecosystems, through a basic literature review. The paper then elaborates a process that can be used for defining design rules in an organizational setting. The authors note that they have “extended the applicability of the ecosystem construct in this paper to a mission-driven, global non-profit organization” (p. 39). Through an analysis of the globalization enabled by this competition, the paper thus offers relevant insights for leaders of current or new global ecosystems, as well as techniques that involve designing a flexible global ecosystem architecture.

The fourth article by Leena Kunttu, Helka Kalliomäki, Sorin Dan, and Jari Kuusisto presents several “viewpoints on commercialization and sustainability” with their work on “Developing Social Impact Evaluation Methods for Research”. The authors note that research activities have become more important in dynamic innovation environments and that the social impact of research has not yet come up with an evaluation criterion that has clear metrics. In this paper, they consider the “broader impacts criteria” (BIC) model developed for social impact evaluation in the National Science Foundation in the USA. They propose extensions to the BIC criteria related to commercialization and sustainable development viewpoints on impact evaluation. This makes the newly introduced extension to BIC, called the “inclusion-immediacy criteria” (IIC), an important point of comparison. Based on IIC, the authors propose an extended version of the model that aims to evaluate research impact of research from the point of views of both commercialization and sustainability.

The final paper by Sten Grahn, Anna Granlund and Erik Lindhult focuses on “Barriers to Value Specification when Carrying out Digitalization Projects”. The authors analysed several digitalization projects that focus on specifications for desired project values, finding out that companies spend comparatively limited resources on specifying desired values in digitalization projects, which limits their success. They then conducted both a literature review, as well as interviews with engineers responsible for production development at 17 Swedish industrial SMEs to gather insights about servitization and value-specification experience. This study aims at addressing possible barriers that restrict value specification practices, and at contributing understanding to developing value specification methods that overcome current barriers, to help improve the success rate of digitalization projects.

For future issues, we invite general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and scaling technology companies, and for solving practical business problems in emerging domains such as artificial intelligence and blockchain applications in business. Potential contributors could also consult the TIM Review topic model (https://topicmodeling.timreview.ca/#/model) to examine the dominant publication themes so far, which might help with ideas for valuable contributions in the near future. Please contact us with potential article ideas and submissions, or proposals for future special issues.

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