October 2021 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to Issue 7/8 of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This edition is a collection of insights across a range of topics from SME ecosystem engagement, integrated trust sites, technology in the customer journey, action research with a participant-observer approach, web text analytics on digital health companies, and energy transition, including renewables.

Ermela Bashuri & Tony Bailetti lead off the issue with “Strategies for a Small to Medium-sized Enterprise to Engage in an Existing Ecosystem”. Their aim is “to explore applicable ecosystem engagement strategies from the perspective of SMEs” (pg. 5). Their research indicates strategies for SMEs to apply when joining value-creating ecosystems. They follow the work of Jacobides et al., 2018 in defining key components within ecosystem types as: 1) keystone, 2) complementors, 3) complementarities, 4) resources, 5) activities, 6) value proposition, 7) governance, 8) customer, and 9) others. From this, they identify reasons for actors in an ecosystem to collaborate, along with prerequisites for ecosystem engagement. They conclude by recommending that SMEs “collaborate with ecosystem complementors by mapping complementarities (in production/consumption) that are unique or supermodular” (pg. 16).

Michaela Keßelring, Stéphane Ruiz-Coupeau, Moritz Kirsch, Frank Wagner, & Richard Gloaguen follow this with “Integrated Trust Sites for Innovative Ecosystems”. The paper contributes to the literature on corporate and public test site practices by analyzing multi-industrial test sites. They show “how converging test sites may provide opportunities for multiple industries and regions” (pg. 20) using both qualitative and quantitative research designs. The results indicate that the suitability of multi-industrial test sites depends on the market and research fit of the test target, the quality of the benchmark data, as well as logistical, organizational, legal, social, and ecological factors. Their general conclusion notes that “multi-industrial test sites increase and strengthen the absorptive capacity of regions” (20), and that “integrated test sites add value beyond a single industry” (pg. 28).

In the next paper, William Boscardini Helouani asks “How Can Firms Effectively Use Technology in Customer Journey Management”. The research outlines how customer journey (CJ) mapping provides a view of the customer experience (CX) taken from a customer's standpoint. The paper suggests that even though CJ mapping has proven helpful in various use cases, applying the technology to make it effective has been difficult for companies. The author conducted a literature review from a selected 33 articles sourced from Web of Science and found three main drivers for technology adoption in the CJ context: mapping, enabling, and monitoring the journey. The report elaborates on the drivers and shows how IT and digital assets can be used in the CJ context, giving practical examples that may be useful for organizations aiming to implement a consumer-centered IT strategy.

Paul J. Woodfield, Katharina Ruckstuhl, & Rafaela C.C. Rabello continue the edition with Charting a Course of Action: An Insider-Outsider Approach”. Here they take a participant-observer research approach, which is “where a researcher is also part of the same community of practice as those being observed” (pg. 48). They present a case where social scientists carried out action research on a science and technology research programme where they were embedded within a longitudinal history of relationship building. The case study is centred on New Zealand’s National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation – Kia kotahi mai - Te Ao P taiao me Te Ao Hangarau (To come together, to join as one, the world of Science, the world of Innovation). Their work offers a way to map the research journey using action research through navigation, iteration, and reflection phases. They conclude that “embedding social science early in an upstream innovation programme can lead to a better understanding of the best action and intervention to address an innovation mission” (pg. 62). They promote the idea of moving away from “employing” action researchers toward “being” action researchers, with social scientists working on multidisciplinary projects alongside of natural science and technology researchers.

A students-with-professor team contribution comes next, with Abdulla Aweisi, Daman Arora, Renée Emby, Madiha Rehman, George Tanev & Stoyan Tanev “Using Web Text Analytics to Categorize the Business Focus of Innovative Digital Health Companies”. The authors categorize the areas of application for innovative companies operating in the digital health sector using information provided on their websites. Their aim is to help aspiring technology entrepreneurs, organizations supporting new ventures, and business accelerators interested to enhance their services to new venture clients by improving our understanding of what innovative digital health companies offer. The paper makes a contribution to the literature by shaping an automated text analytics approach to categorizing large samples of company-created information in specific business domains.

The final paper by Petra Berg, Rumy Narayan & Arto Rajala focuses on “Ideologies in Energy Transition”, with particular attention to “Community Discourses on Renewables”. The paper examines energy transition processes in five Finnish municipalities through discourse to identify and explain different ideologies among its members. The authors take a social constructivist approach to deal with the implications of ideologies embedded in municipal, multi-partner networks involving energy transition that affect who is heard in local contexts. The authors believe that the various ideologies facing energy transition, which they label as Clan, Solarpunk and Native, impact peoples’ future choices directly related to sustainability outcomes. They propose that discourses involving multi-partner networks for energy transition, when conceptualized from the perspective of municipal energy systems, help us to uncover underlying ideologies that imperil change.

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 future contributions. Please contact us with potential article ideas and submissions, or proposals for special issues.

This edition also marks the start of the tenure of Prof. Mika Westerlund as Editor-in-Chief of the TIM Review. On behalf of the Editorial Team, the International Advisory Board, and the Review Board of the Journal, its authors and readers, we would like to thank our outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Prof. Stoyan Tanev, who has invested significant efforts to advance the profile of the TIM Review over the past two years. In the future, we will add changes and additions to the Journal as part of our commitment to improve the quality, impact, and relevance of articles in the fields of technology innovation and entrepreneurship. We warmly welcome submissions contributing to our current domains of interest and novel areas that supplement the already existing TIM Review topics, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. We also appreciate the indispensable contributions made by guest editors and reviewers of the Journal. Finally, we welcome suggestions and thoughts from the authors and readers of the TIM Review to help us to deliver these objectives.

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