Mastering Technology Convergence in Innovation Projects

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Zagorac-Uremovic, Z., Spiegel, M., & Marxt, C. (2014). Mastering Technology Convergence in Innovation Projects. University of Liechtenstein.




This article addresses the phenomenon of technology convergence in inter-organisational innovation projects. Technology convergence has so far been examined from an industry dynamics perspective. Studies within this scope have mainly retrospectively described managerial implications. However, little is known about convergence related challenges emerging during the innovation process, especially about how a team, engaged in a joint convergence-driven innovation or R&D project, can deal with specific challenges. Hence, the aim of this article is to investigate specific convergence-based challenges and how these challenges can be overcome. A participative action research study of a university-industry R&D project was conducted, in which the researcher team developed a theoretical framework, analysed the project's status quo by means of a qualitative inquiry and finally designed an intervention as response. Several overarching challenges related to technology convergence were identified. First, the project team was not aware that it deals with the highly complex context of convergence, where technologies from multiple and distinct knowledge bases have to be integrated. Second, the project scope primarily focussed technical aspects of research and development, however the project team lacked a common business vision and a commercialisation plan. Additionally, the team faced communication issues, as the beliefs, expectations and capabilities of each project partner were not exposed. To address these and other challenges, the researcher team designed a collaborative business model workshop as intervention measure. The main finding is that engaging with a joint business model development exercise has resulted in a more holistic view of the project, resulting in not only a written draft of a business model, but also a higher overall project commitment and solid foundation to push the project ahead.



  • Lehrstuhl für Technologie und Entrepreneurship