Understanding stages of supply network emergence in technology commercialisation
This research explores different 'modes' of supply network emergence that may exist in the process of technology commercialisation, and examines how key actors and enterprises design and re-configure their emerging and existing networks. A generic 'stages' model to better understand supply network evolution - in the context of emerging technologies - is developed, based on existing commercialisation case studies, and underpinned by industrial emergence and network theory. The aims of the model are two-fold, namely, to extend theoretical understanding of 'stages' and 'emergence' from a traditional technology and product perspective towards that of supply networks, and to inform existing network analysis approaches (applicable for 'mature' industries) so as to better 'fit' nascent and emerging contexts. Indeed, it is argued that supply networks never quite reach a stage of 'maturity', as organisations continuously look to 're-configure' elements of their legacy networks, leveraging existing capabilities where possible, in response to changes in strategic priorities and the emergence of new market opportunities and threats. At the practice level, the 'stages' model informs how best to manage critical network resources - supporting the design of alternative business models, and associated supply network strategies, for transforming new technologies into marketable products.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P006965/1)