Managing Learning in Informal Innovation Networks: Overcoming the Daphne-Dilemma

Posted: 31 Dec 2001

See all articles by Joan E. van Aken

Joan E. van Aken

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Faculty of Technology Management

Mathieu P. Weggeman

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Faculty of Technology Management

Abstract

In this article we discuss the nature and productivity of informal innovation networks, i.e. informal collaborative arrangements between organizations engaged in product or process innovation. Such networks can be used in any phase of the innovation process, but their informal nature makes them especially suited for its fuzzy front end. We explore their potential in technology exchange and learning on the basis of a combination of organization network theory and knowledge management theory. We discuss issues in network governance and network operational management and discuss the basic dilemma - which we named the Daphne-dilemma - facing attempts to improve the productivity of informal innovation networks: too little management effort may lead to under-exploitation of their potential and poor productivity, but too much management effort may destroy their informal nature and hence their creative and explorative potential.

JEL Classification: M11, M12

Suggested Citation

van Aken, Joan E. and Weggeman, Mathieu P., Managing Learning in Informal Innovation Networks: Overcoming the Daphne-Dilemma. R&D Management, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=234566

Joan E. Van Aken (Contact Author)

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Faculty of Technology Management ( email )

P.O. Box 513
Centre of Innovation Studies
5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

Mathieu P. Weggeman

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Faculty of Technology Management ( email )

P.O. Box 513
Centre of Innovation Studies
5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

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