Resource interaction in relation to power: How a high tech startup strategizes to cope with the challenges of mobilizing and leveraging resources in asymmetrical power relationships

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    Abstract

    The resource interaction approach provides a set of basic principles concerning how resources interact at a network level. This paper further elaborates on the resource interaction approach by investigating the role of power in the technological development of a medical device over time. In the medical device development process resources, such as intellectual property, distribution networks and production facilities, are largely controlled by established organizations. Consequently, small start-ups often have to collaborate with these players to successfully innovate. However, when a startup engaged in a relationships with a large, established and powerful partner it is faced with several discrete challenges. These challenges make it difficult to mobilize and leverage the relevant resources to innovate. Therefore, the question is how a startup can take deliberate strategic actions to better mobilize and leverage the resources in their asymmetrical relationships. The answer to this question is explored through an embedded case study of a small Dutch company collaborating with a few dominant organizations to develop a new medical device. Firstly, the 4R model is used to establish and research the power position of the startup and its counterparts in the product development network over time. Secondly, it is investigated which strategic actions the startup took to conquer the challenges it faced in its asymmetric power relationships. The findings show that the startup uses five strategies to cope with the challenges of cooperating with powerful partners: visibility, sharing, compatibility, formalization and informality.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    Event22nd Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2014 - De Lutte, Netherlands
    Duration: 16 Jun 201417 Jun 2014
    Conference number: 22

    Conference

    Conference22nd Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2014
    Abbreviated titleHTSF
    CountryNetherlands
    CityDe Lutte
    Period16/06/1417/06/14

    Keywords

    • Resource interaction
    • Power relationships
    • Startup

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