Purpose - In innovation networks, SMEs' capability to innovate is both enhanced and restricted by more powerful or better positioned partners. The purpose of this article is to ask how managers of processing SME suppliers in Italian and Swiss food innovation networks experience their relationships with innovation network partners and how they configure modes of interaction with them.Design/methodology/approach - A series of problem centered interviews with managers of six Swiss and five Italian food sector SMEs was conducted.Findings - Findings describe how SME managers in the two regions perceive the nature of interaction as well as benefits and disadvantages resulting from asymmetric relationships within networked innovation process. Differences in the perception frame and their impact on behavior in innovation networks are analyzed.Research limitations/implications - The data are only valid for the food sector in the two regional markets. Furthermore, this paper only displays the perspective of managers of first and second processing food SME suppliers. Additional data should be gathered on the perspective of other network partners as well as on real-time communication between them.Practical implications - The findings suggest that active cooperation with especially customers in innovation networks supports innovation opportunities of processing food SME suppliers.Originality/value - Scholars so far have comprehensively deduced potential advantages and problems resulting from asymmetries in power and positioning of partners for knowledge sharing in innovation networks but have not yet investigated its specifics. Particularly, empirical work on the perspective of managers from processing SME suppliers on innovation related cooperation with their partners in the value chain on networked innovation is yet almost scant.

Asymmetric relationships in networked food innovation processes

COLURCIO, MARIA;RUSSO SPENA, TIZIANA
2012

Abstract

Purpose - In innovation networks, SMEs' capability to innovate is both enhanced and restricted by more powerful or better positioned partners. The purpose of this article is to ask how managers of processing SME suppliers in Italian and Swiss food innovation networks experience their relationships with innovation network partners and how they configure modes of interaction with them.Design/methodology/approach - A series of problem centered interviews with managers of six Swiss and five Italian food sector SMEs was conducted.Findings - Findings describe how SME managers in the two regions perceive the nature of interaction as well as benefits and disadvantages resulting from asymmetric relationships within networked innovation process. Differences in the perception frame and their impact on behavior in innovation networks are analyzed.Research limitations/implications - The data are only valid for the food sector in the two regional markets. Furthermore, this paper only displays the perspective of managers of first and second processing food SME suppliers. Additional data should be gathered on the perspective of other network partners as well as on real-time communication between them.Practical implications - The findings suggest that active cooperation with especially customers in innovation networks supports innovation opportunities of processing food SME suppliers.Originality/value - Scholars so far have comprehensively deduced potential advantages and problems resulting from asymmetries in power and positioning of partners for knowledge sharing in innovation networks but have not yet investigated its specifics. Particularly, empirical work on the perspective of managers from processing SME suppliers on innovation related cooperation with their partners in the value chain on networked innovation is yet almost scant.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/483508
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