How can innovation intermediaries enable product innovativeness in startups? A configurational approach

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3 Citas (Scopus)


Startups play a crucial role in introducing radical innovations and need to maintain a high level of product innovativeness (PI) to consolidate their business models and remain competitive. However, startups often face challenges and limitations that hinder their PI efforts and require external support from innovation intermediaries. Despite the prevalence of research on intermediaries, there is a limited understanding of the effect of their activities and capabilities - commonly referred to as orchestration functions - on startups' innovativeness. This study aims to address this gap by exploring the causal relationships between configurations of orchestration functions of intermediation and product innovativeness in startups. Drawing on the latest literature, we identify five orchestration functions that comprise the intermediary's impact structure, including Network Composition and Process Management (NCP), Fostering Networking and Partnerships for Resource Mobilization (FNP), Intermediation for Technology Transfer, Collaborative Research, and Commercialization (ITC), Identification and Mediation of Different Interests (IMD), and Evaluation and Validation of Outcomes (EVO). Using a mixed-methods approach incorporating the fsQCA method, we conducted a longitudinal investigation of 14 startups and their relationship with an innovation intermediary in Germany. Our results reveal that three specific configurations of all five intermediary functions can explain product innovativeness in startups. This study provides a valuable contribution to academia by proposing a set of configurations of orchestration functions that can explain startups' performance and provides practical implications for practitioners looking to enhance product innovativeness in startups.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo100007
PublicaciónJournal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity
EstadoPublicada - mar 2023


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