How Internet Technologies Impact Information Flows in R&D: Reconsidering the Technological Gatekeeper

14 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2010

See all articles by Eoin Whelan

Eoin Whelan

NUI Galway

Robin Teigland

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Marketing and Strategy

Brian Donnellan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Willie Golden

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Previous studies have firmly established the technological gatekeeper to be a key node in the innovation process – acquiring, translating, and disseminating external information throughout the R&D unit. However, the gatekeeper concept has received modest attention in recent times. We argue that the concept needs to be re-examined in light of the recent advances in Internet technologies that have dramatically altered how knowledge workers source and share their information. Drawing on social network analysis and interview evidence from a medical devices R&D group, we find that the gatekeeper role is still vital, but no longer needs to be performed by a single individual. Instead, the modern R&D group can keep abreast of the latest technological advances through a combination of Internet-enabled internal and external communication specialists. This study makes a number of important contributions. The gatekeeper theory is extended through the development of an updated conceptual framework. We also discuss the practical implications of our findings and advise R&D managers on how to organise resources to maximise optimal information flows.

Suggested Citation

Whelan, Eoin and Teigland, Robin and Donnellan, Brian and Golden, Willie, How Internet Technologies Impact Information Flows in R&D: Reconsidering the Technological Gatekeeper. R&D Management, Vol. 40, Issue 4, pp. 400-413, September 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1664739 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2010.00610.x

Eoin Whelan (Contact Author)

NUI Galway ( email )

BIS
NUIG
Galway, NA
Ireland

Robin Teigland

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Marketing and Strategy ( email )

Box 6501
Stockholm, Stockholm 113 65
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.knowledgenetworking.org

Brian Donnellan

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Willie Golden

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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