The Impact of Social Capital on Innovation Intermediaries [report]

Songphon Munkongsujarit
2000 unpublished
In today's open business environments, innovation happens in globally dispersed organizations that exchange technological knowledge across increasingly permeable boundaries. Innovation intermediaries play an important role in these technology transfer processes. They operate as middle-men between solution seekers (companies seeking technological knowledge for solving their problems) and problem solvers (experts with specialized knowledge and solutions) and thus help to connect suppliers and
more » ... omers of technological knowledge. Currently, clients that select an intermediary organization and managers of intermediary organizations that assign agents to a project have very little guidance as to what type of an intermediary they should select to guarantee that the intermediation process is successful. This study will provide much needed guidance. Successful technology transfer is operationalized as gains in efficiency and/or improved innovativeness, though it is likely that a trade-off exists between these two goals. This is commonly referred to as the productivity dilemma. To be successful, intermediaries need to understand the solution seeker's problem (problem framing) and reach into their networks of contacts or connections with various experts (social capital) to match the right expert to the problem. The literature on technical problem solving states that problem solvers that frame a problem as the need to reduce uncertainty solve the problem by reaching for readily available resources and tend to provide solutions that are similar to previous solutions. These incremental improvements are efficient, but not very innovative. Problem solvers that frame a problem as the need to reduce ambiguity do not I would also like to wholeheartedly acknowledge all of my dissertation committee members, Dr .
doi:10.15760/etd.975 fatcat:2y27bbqkzvflveirq5dur3aami