The transformation between exploration and exploitation applied to inventors of packaging innovations

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Elsevier B.V.


While the inventor is often the driver of an invention in the early stages, he/she needs to move between different social networks for knowledge in order to create and capture value. The main objective of this research is to propose a literature-based framework based on innovation network theory and complemented with C-K theory, in order to analyze the invention/innovation process of inventors and the product concepts in a packaging industry context. Empirical input from three case studies of packaging inventions and their inventors is used to elaborate the suggested framework.The article identifies important gaps in the literature of innovation networks. This is addressed through a theoretical framework based on network theories, complemented with C-K theory for the product design level. The strength-of-ties dimension of the theoretical framework suggests, in agreement with the mainstream literature and the cases presented, that weak ties are required to access the knowledge related to exploration networks and strong ties are required to utilize the knowledge in the exploitation network. The transformation network is an intermediate step acting as a bridge where entrepreneurs can find required knowledge. The transformation network is also an intermediate step where entrepreneurs find financing and companies interested in commercializing inventions. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.



Packaging innovations, C-K theory, Network theory, Innovation networks, Case studies, Exploration network, Exploitation network

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Technovation. Amsterdam: Elsevier B.V., v. 30, n. 5-6, p. 322-331, 2010.