Economics at your fingertips  

Distilling and renewing science team search through external engagement

Conor O'Kane, Jarrod Haar, Vincent Mangematin, Urs Daellenbach and Sally Davenport

Research Policy, 2021, vol. 50, issue 6

Abstract: To navigate the uncertainty inherent in science driven innovation, academic science teams must often undertake search through engagement with external actors. While both broad and narrow external engagement are beneficial to team search during innovation, it remains unclear how science teams coordinate and utilise engagement across time. To address this issue, we tracked the search activity of a publicly funded medical technology team in New Zealand over five and a half years. Our inductive analysis leads to a grounded theory process model showing how academic science teams manage their search activities during innovation across three stages of external engagement: devising and coordinating, assimilating, and distilling. Our study makes three contributions. First, we show that science team search progresses from broad engagement with clinicians, patients, and industry to narrow and stronger engagement between a select set of within team and external actors from these communities at later stages of the innovation process. Second, our research shows how science teams renew their search activities during innovation. As engagements around original project objectives are distilled to fewer and stronger engagements, other team resources are released and redeployed to pursue more exploratory avenues of research in tandem, thereby re-instating broader and more distant search within the team's innovation activities. Third, we introduce to the literature and detail two transition points (i.e., brokering and control) through which science team search is distilled. We discuss the implications of our findings for research policy and practice.

Keywords: Innovation network; Exploration; Search; Science teams; External engagement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2021.104261

Access Statistics for this article

Research Policy is currently edited by M. Bell, B. Martin, W.E. Steinmueller, A. Arora, M. Callon, M. Kenney, S. Kuhlmann, Keun Lee and F. Murray

More articles in Research Policy from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().

Page updated 2021-07-10
Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:50:y:2021:i:6:s0048733321000640