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This chapter presents the review of literature based on which research gaps were identified and further research undertaken to fill those gaps. The literature review helped to conceptualise the previous research studies into a framework that provides overall visualisation of the research as disseminated in the book.

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The Online Labour Index (OLI) was launched in 2016 to measure the global utilisation of online freelance work at scale. Five years after its creation, the OLI has become a point of reference for scholars and policy experts investigating the online gig economy. As the market for online freelancing work matures, a high volume of data and new analytical tools allow us to revisit half a decade of online freelance monitoring and extend the index's scope to more dimensions of the global online freelancing market. While (still) measuring the utilisation of online labour across countries and occupations by tracking the number of projects and tasks posted on major English-language platforms, the new Online Labour Index 2020 (OLI 2020) also tracks Spanish- and Russian-language platforms, reveals changes over time in the geography of labour supply and estimates female participation in the online gig economy. The rising popularity of software and tech work and the concentration of freelancers on the Indian subcontinent are examples of the insights that the OLI 2020 provides. The OLI 2020 delivers a more detailed picture of the world of online freelancing via an interactive online visualisation updated daily. It provides easy access to downloadable open data for policymakers, labour market researchers, and the general public ( www.onlinelabourobservatory.org ).
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The Covid‐19 crisis has hit SMEs particularly hard. Numerous business models (BM) have been limited or rendered downright impossible due to decreased social contact. SMEs can respond to this exogenous crisis via temporary business model innovation (BMI). This empirical study investigates these temporary BMs using a multiple case study approach based on five SMEs in Austria, Germany, and Liechtenstein who within a short period of time applied their core competencies and networks to integrate new BMs, which were in some cases very different from existing ones. These had a positive effect on strategic flexibility, and if desired can also be incorporated into the firm long‐term. The paper contributes to SME crisis management during the Covid‐19 pandemic by pointing out and developing a successful management mechanism that allows to survive a crisis or even improve during this time. Moreover, we contribute to BMI literature by explaining temporary BMI as a new form of BMI. It also makes clear to managers that temporary BMs add value to firms and create new revenue streams.
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[Context] Software startups are engines of innovation and economy, yet building software startups is challenging and subject to a high failure rate. They need to act and respond fast in highly uncertain business environments. To do so, they need to identify crucial and actionable information that supports them in making correct decisions and reduce uncertainty. So far, the software startup literature focused predominantly on what information to measure from a metrics perspective. Thus, there is a lack of research investigating how to deal with information from an analytics perspective. [Objective] The current study aims at understanding how software startups are dealing with crucial information that could lead to meaningful actions. The overall research question that guides the study is: what analytics mistakes do software startups make? [Method] We investigated 22 failed software startups using their post-mortem reports as the main source. They were included in the study because the founding teams made mistakes related to information and analytics, which contributed to their startup failure to various degrees. We analyzed the collected data using thematic analysis. [Results] Ten types of mistakes made by the 22 failed startups when dealing with information are identified. These ten types are further grouped into four categories from an analytics process perspective, including information collection, information analysis, information communication, and information usage. [Conclusions] Our findings contribute to a better understanding of how software startups are dealing with information. It provides an opportunity for software startup teams to learn from the recurring mistakes of failed startups. Interesting future research avenues include defining patterns and antipatterns in software startup analytics by studying both failed and successful startups and doing an in-depth investigation of essential metrics for software startups.
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In recent years, an emerging stream of research suggests that firms should use technological innovation and business model innovation harmoniously to maximize firm performance. In order to enrich the scholarly conversation on the fit between technological innovation and business model innovation, drawing insights from the dynamic capabilities perspective, this paper examines the fit between value proposition innovation and technological innovation (exploitative versus explorative) for the performance of startups in the digital environment. Based on on-site survey data of 285 digital startups in one of the world's largest digital economies, we find that explorative innovation strengthens the positive impact of value proposition innovation on the performance of startups, whereas exploitative innovation weakens this positive effect. Furthermore, these moderating effects are magnified in a highly uncertain demand environment. These findings inject fresh insights into existing scholarly conversation on the fit between technological innovation and business model innovation by offering a dynamic capabilities perspective and by extending it to an increasingly digital business environment.
Conference Paper
Start-ups are important part of the world economy. Despite the astonishing rate of the start-up creation, their viability and success remain to be relatively low. Reasons behind the failure are diverse and complex. The leadership has been recognized as an important factor influencing the performance of start-ups. The paper argues that entrepreneurial leadership theory can effectively capture the complex processes in start-ups. Τhe paper explores a broader understanding of the entrepreneurial leadership by examining the context around which the entrepreneurial leadership occurs. Additionally, it includes leader and follower perspective in constructing the phenomenon. Lastly, the research reveals that it is important to view the Entrepreneurial leadership as a process developing along the stages of the start-up life cycle. The findings suggest that leadership is changing across the lifespan of the start-ups and distinct conditions and features are characteristic for the entrepreneurial leadership within each respective stage.
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Research summary We examine how university entrepreneurship programs affect entrepreneurial activity using a unique entrepreneurship‐focused survey of Stanford alumni. OLS regressions find a positive relationship between program participation and entrepreneurship activities. However, endogeneity hinders causal interpretation. We utilize the fact that the entrepreneurship programs were implemented at the school level. Using the introduction of each school's program as an instrument for program participation, we find that the Business School program has a negative to zero impact on entrepreneurship rates. Participation in the Engineering School program has no impact on entrepreneurship rates. However, the Business School initiative decreases startup failure and increases firm revenue. University entrepreneurship programs may not increase entrepreneurship rates, but help students better identify their potential as entrepreneurs and improve the quality of entrepreneurship. Managerial summary Recently, many universities have developed programs to promote entrepreneurship. However, relatively little is known about the impacts of such university initiatives. In this article, we examine the two major initiatives that were established in the mid‐1990s—the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Business School and the Stanford Technology Ventures Program at the Engineering School. We find that the Business School program had a negative to zero impact on entrepreneurship rates and participation in the Engineering School program had no impact on entrepreneurship rates. However, the Business School initiative decreased startup failure and increased firm revenue. University entrepreneurship programs may not increase entrepreneurship rates, but help students better identify their potential as entrepreneurs and improve the startup performance.
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New ventures face both liabilities of newness and smallness, which may inhibit their innovation efforts and output. However, existing research has not clearly distinguished between the two liabilities, leaving it unclear how certain determinants differentially affect innovation performance in start-ups relative to older established small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, in this study we investigate the impact of R&D investments, external knowledge sourcing and public R&D subsidies on innovation effectiveness in new versus older small firms. Employing panel data from the Spanish Community Innovation Survey (CIS), we show that R&D investments have a lower contribution to the innovation performance of new ventures, compared to older small firms. In contrast, we find that external knowledge sourcing makes a higher contribution to the innovation performance of new compared to older small firms, but only in high-tech settings. However, we find no support for a differentiating effect of R&D subsidies in new versus established small firms. Effectively, our results highlight the limited effects of internal R&D investments and R&D policy instruments to promote the growth of innovative start-ups, while highlighting potential benefits of their openness to external sources of innovation. As such, these results have important implications for research, practices and policies that relate to innovation in new ventures and SMEs, while casting doubts on the effectiveness of some of the common strategy and policy instruments to stimulate performance in small innovative start-ups.
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Digital entrepreneurs often exploit market opportunities across boundaries by constantly designing value propositions rather than innovating. We conceptualize this as a strategizing practice, which we aim to investigate further. This paper explores the mechanisms that digital entrepreneurs use to design and redesign value propositions to exploit market opportunities across boundaries by drawing on a two-year in-depth case study of a digital venture. We argue that at the heart of designing value propositions are the following four mechanisms: excogitating functionality, self-reverberating benefits, designating interdependencies, and conforming intentionalities. The paper argues that through the constant enactment of these mechanisms and a pattern that acts as a catalyst, it is possible to redesign the value proposition to transcend market boundaries without constantly developing new digital products. Our paper offers significant implications for digital technology entrepreneurship and strategizing literature by (a) capturing and theorizing the continual design of the value proposition as a strategizing practice to transcend market boundaries, (b) enunciating the mechanisms underpinning the design of the value proposition, and (c) introducing a new theoretical approach to the study of value proposition drawing on a practice perspective.
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The digital-based start-up industry in Indonesia has developed, but with a high failure rate. This research aims at elaborating the relationship between business model, entrepreneurial orientation, innovation, and sustainable performance on the digital start-up companies in Indonesia. The data were collected using offline and online surveys to 206 leaders or founders of digital start-up companies spread throughout Indonesia. Then, the data were then analysed using the structural equation model. The research results revealed that a business model had a significant role in achieving sustainable performance. A business model needs to be supported by customer participation and innovation. Innovation was more influential compared to customer participation in achieving companies’ sustainable performance. The indirect effect of customer participation and innovation on sustainable performance through the business model was greater than the direct effect not through the business model. The novelty of this research is the examination and analysis of the relationship between innovation, customer participation, business model, and sustainable performance in one model, and the use of digital start-up companies in Indonesia as the research analysis unit.
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This study challenges and develops some of the key arguments underpinning dynamic capabilities research. Dynamic capabilities are identified in strategic management research as central to firm performance helping firms adjust to external dynamism. They are considered necessary since ordinary capabilities are typically described as inert, static, or as evolving only through unintended mutating or slipping. This study builds on routine theory that ascribe routines the ability to evolve, and draws on first-hand qualitative data from a Nordic firm. The study demonstrates mindfully evolving evolving ordinary capabilities play a role underestimated in dynamic capabilities research by helping firms adjust to environmental dynamism. We also spell out new roles for dynamic capabilities in relation to such mindfully evolving ordinary capabilities.
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In today's business environment with fast growing communication and information technologies, knowledge management (KM) capabilities are a valuable source for innovation. However, little is known about the particular KM capabilities that lead to business model innovation (BMI) and whether their effect is dependent upon the firm's orientation towards risk-taking. We examine the impact internal and external KM capabilities have on BMI and how these effects are moderated by its risk-taking tolerance. We empirically analyze a sample of 197 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) applying structural equation modeling (SEM) and fuzzyset qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). The results from the SEM indicate that particularly external KM capabilities stimulate BMI. This relationship is strengthened for firms with a high risk-taking tolerance. Internal knowledge is only effective for firms with a low risk-taking tolerance. The fsQCA results substantiate these findings and refine the SEM by providing particular antecedent conditions for high levels of BMI.
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Purpose Being innovative and bringing new products to the market fast is important for firms to stay competitive. Customers are important for providing input to product developments in industrial markets. The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of how firms use Voice of the Customer (VoC) in product development and how VoC can complement other customer involvement methods. Design/methodology/approach The paper is based on a qualitative case study of a global leading and innovative firm, a maker of tools for the automotive industry. The study provides detailed insight into the implementation of VoC for product development. Findings The process of customer involvement in product development through VoC is explored. The study shows that by using the VoC method, firms can gather knowledge for input to product development projects while developing relationships with a larger number of customers. The findings point out that VoC can be modified to focus on customer needs related to product development as well as marketing efforts requiring cross-functional collaboration. The VoC method is suitable for combining with other customer involvement methods such as project involvement and pilot testing. Through VoC, firms have the chance to benchmark across industries and regions. Research limitations/implications The paper provides insights into the VoC process of customer involvement aimed at product development. The case study provides an illustration of how an industrial firm uses VoC in product development. The paper points out the importance of managing external (customer) involvement in product development and internal (cross-functional) collaborations. Practical implications A set of questions that firms can ask themselves before embarking on customer involvement has been developed. The paper shows that customers can be involved at a number of points in time, have a wide range of roles and contribute different knowledge. VoC is suitable for combining with other customer involvement methods. Originality/value The contribution of the paper consists of a case study illustrating how customer involvement in product development can be achieved through VoC. A number of customer involvement methods for product development are discussed for combining with VoC, showing how different methods are complementary in product development.
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This study examines how B2B service firms organize and manage knowledge in order to deliver new value adding solutions and in turn competitive advantage, addressing calls for research into this important, yet neglected area. Specifically, this study: (1) examines the role of the antecedents of knowledge integration capability (KIC) in service innovation-led competitive advantage in project-oriented B2B service firms; and (2) models and empirically tests the links between KIC and service innovation, and in turn sustainable competitive advantage (SCA). Findings from our research of Australian and US project-oriented firms support our central theorization that the new knowledge acquired through external and internal sources per se is not sufficient, but should be integrated with existing knowledge in order to deliver innovative service solutions addressing clients' needs. Results from testing non-linear effects of new knowledge configurations on service innovation provide deeper insights into the suggested relationship. Our research contributes to calls for comprehensive frameworks of service innovation-led competitive advantage. We provide theoretical and managerial implications, and suggest areas for future research.
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This study examined the innovation that leads to a competitive advantage in the frozen food business in the context of small-sized and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The research process consisted of three parts: 1) a literature study; 2) an empirical research study using questionnaires as a data collection tool; and 3) an analysis and conclusion of the research results using exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and structural equation modelling (SEM). The findings showed that innovation enhanced the advantages in competition via external factors. These external factors were divided into two groups: micro-oriented factors and macro-oriented factors. The external factors at the micro level had more influence on the innovation development of the frozen food businesses than those at the macro level. The results showed that entrepreneurs, especially SME entrepreneurs, need to adapt and readily prepare themselves to face upcoming economic changes, which are about to occur not only at the global level but also at the regional and the country levels. In addition to the internal contexts within the organization, external factors are also important, especially those that will lead to the development of innovation. Innovation will become the strategic tool in this important competition for the improvement, creation, and enhancement of business to create competitive advantages equal to or better than those in foreign countries in order to realize sustainable development.
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measure of the rate of innovation --research-and-development (R&D) expenditure per employee compared to new patents received per employee -- does not adequately capture a unique feature of SMEs, namely that owners and managers are often themselves innovators. For example, in Japan 52 per cent of SMEs' innovations reported in 1986 were created by employers, whereas in large firms 72 per cent of innovations were created by research technicians. Nevertheless, patchy evidence from Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States indicates that SMEs at least hold their own in terms of innovation compared to large firms. Perhaps most significantly, a recent study indicates that, while the total number of innovations is positively related to R&D expenditures, skilled labour and the degree to which large firms comprise the industry, in innovative industries innovative activity tends to emanate more from SMEs than large firms. This is probably because in industries where large firms dominate, SMEs need to be innovative to survive. There is much information to suggest that in technologies such as micro-electronics, new materials and biotechnology SMEs tend to be in the vanguard of innovation. Small and medium-sized enterprises as exporters. The contribution of SMEs to a national economy from exporting is generally small; for example, in Japan SMEs accounted for only 13 per cent of merchandise exports in 1990.
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Purpose This paper examines the influence of three dimensions of customer knowledge management—knowledge from customer, knowledge for customer, and knowledge about customer—on innovation capabilities (speed and quality) and new service market performance. Design/methodology/approach The model links three dimensions of customer knowledge management to two dimensions of innovation capabilities. Further, the model links two dimensions of innovation capabilities to new service market performance. Analysis was conducted through structural equation modelling using SmartPLS software, utilizing data from 253 managers representing 26 banks in Bangladesh. Findings The findings of this study show that knowledge from customer and knowledge for customer are the most influential predictors of new service market performance. Of the three dimensions of customer knowledge management, knowledge from customer turns out to be the strongest predictor of innovation quality and speed. Innovation quality has a greater impact on new service market performance than innovation speed. Innovation capability (quality and speed) plays a mediating role in this study. Practical implications Managing knowledge from, for, and about customer should be systematically considered as a synergy approach to firms’ processes and activities to co-create value with customers. In particular, managers should put more emphasis on knowledge from and for customer to enhance innovation capacity and achieve success in the development of a new service. Originality/value This paper empirically supports the significant influence of knowledge from, for, and about customer on innovation capabilities (quality and speed) and new service market performance. While the results provide guidance for researchers and practitioners, it also adds value to innovation-related research.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide state-of-the-art knowledge about business model innovation (BMI) and suggest avenues for future research. Design/methodology/approach A systematic literature review approach was adopted with thematic analysis being conducted on 92 articles. Findings The body of knowledge for this concept is in its infancy and is highly fragmented. This study therefore attempts to consolidate this fragmented knowledge. It reveals dominant themes, establishes coherence, and identifies conflicting arguments in the current literature. It also points out gaps in the research and highlights new directions for research. Research limitations/implications This study analyzed articles that were found based on a systematic literature review approach. Practical implications This study identifies some fundamental issues that managers need to understand regarding BMI. Originality/value The main value of this study lies in its synthesis of the current knowledge of BMI.
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: to connect strategic agility and business model (BM) innovation, and to explore how capabilities underlying strategic agility fit the SME context. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative in approach, the paper develops a longitudinal, in-depth, single case study focussing on how BM renewal occurs in the dynamic and increasingly important sector of temporary work agencies. Findings The findings suggest a partial fit of the existing strategic agility framework for SMEs. Two of the proposed meta-capabilities (leadership unity and resource fluidity) seem inherent to SMEs because they apply easily to this context, although they need to be downscaled. One meta-capability (strategic sensitivity) is less natural and therefore more critical for an SME. An additional meta-capability (resourcefulness) arises as very important for SMEs to be able to overcome some of their size-caused limitations. Research limitations/implications The contribution is limited by using a single case study from a specific sector and should be considered as exploratory and theory-grounding research in the field of SMEs’ strategic agility and BM renewal. Originality/value The originality of this paper is that it looks at the SME context in an industry with intensive change and dynamism, which is ideal for illustrating the objective. The authors contribute a model of strategic agility for SMEs.
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Disruptive technologies tend to underperform on attributes that are considered as key attributes of incumbent technologies and require new value propositions to increase mainstream customer appeal. Yet, how do firms reconfigure their value proposition as a way to overcome the technological inferiority of disruptive technologies? This paper conceptualizes and empirically investigates the process of value proposition reconfiguration. Based on evidence on the commercialization of electric vehicles, it explores the tactics firms use to reconfigure value propositions to increase market acceptance from mainstream customers. The paper develops a framework showing three reconfiguration tactics: compensating, enhancing, and coupling tactics.