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A long way home: How an intra-organizational innovation network overcomes its political boundaries

Christiane Rau, Anne-Katrin Neyer, Agnes Schipanski and Fiona Schweitzer

management revue. Socio-economic Studies, 2016, vol. 27, issue 3, 139-159

Abstract: This article focuses on the still understudied link among political boundaries and innovation practices and its inherent boundary-crossing mechanisms in intra-organizational innovation networks. Our single case study at the sports company adidas derives two particular combinations of boundaries and boundary-crossing mechanisms to overcome political boundaries in intra-organizational innovation networks. These are the ‘open-closed (minded) boundaries’ and ‘everybody-is-an-innovator boundaries’. They have been addressed with distinct innovation practices that comprise the boundary-crossing mechanisms ‘reframe interests’ and ‘negotiate interests’. We find that these boundary-crossing mechanisms to be crucial in the process of managing the intra-organizational innovation network. Our findings have implications for the organizational anchoring of innovation practices given its importance as enabler or barrier to overcome political boundaries in intra-organizational innovation networks.

Keywords: political boundaries; intra-organizational innovation networks; innovation practices; knowledge exchange; innovation management; boundary management; organizational practices (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O31 D83 M10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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