טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentKlein Raphael
SubjectCorporate Exploration Competence and the Dynamics of
Discovering Intellectual Property outside the Firm
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Emeritus Uzi De Haan
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

It is now well accepted that established technology firms must innovate in order to survive long-term. To augment their in-house R&D, such firms could avail themselves of external R&D, by now a proven resource of intellectual property and creative work. In recent years, a new model of business based on “open innovation” has been formalized.


To succeed, firms have to balance and optimize their competencies. This research introduces the construct of Corporate Exploration Competence, a dynamic capability which is important to strategic management in striving to achieve an optimal balance between exploration and exploitation. The significance of this research lies in identifying practices used by firms that have shown a high level of exploration competence to develop such competence.


To identify key features of exploration competence, sixty discussions and interviews related to the five leading firms in the medical imaging area have revealed patterns of culture (shared norms and values) and organizational structure as contributors to exploration competence.


The proposed theoretical foundation for exploration competence uses the framework of Resource Based View to integrate organizational entrepreneurial capabilities and processes with organizational Absorptive Capacity into a dynamic capability called Corporate Exploration Competence, an important resource used by technological firms to sustain their competitive advantage. Organizational entrepreneurship with its risk-taking and the ability to marshal and utilize disparate resources enables technological firms to renew themselves in a sustained manner and guaranty long-term survival in a dynamic business environment. The findings of the study describe additional elements of corporate culture as key contributors to exploration competence.


While the organizational culture provides an enabling background, the organizational structure is the operational dimension of exploration competence, and as its members and practices mature, they provide positive feedback to the implementation of the cultural dimension. A key element in this organizational structure is the acquisition of personnel who have the specialized expertise for exploring for knowhow and IP. This provides the organization with a cognitive facet in which company individuals are able to evaluate the new knowledge outside the corporation. Taxonomy of actors in exploration is proposed in this study.