1 Department of Business Administration - Management, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Department of Management, Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University3 Centre for Organizational Renewal and Evolution (CORE), Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University4 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University5 Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Inter-organizational innovation is becoming an attractive development form in view of the complexity of many of today’s innovations. However, often inter-organizational innovation does not lead to the desired results. To understand this paradoxical situation this article of an inter-organizational R&D setting observes the emergence and evolution of knowledge boundaries and their relation to practice. Through a longitudinal exploratory field study we identify various boundary types that permeate with varying intensities the entire innovation process and through a comparison with the activities carried out throughout an R&D project we derive three theoretical explanations to the emergence of boundaries in inter-organizational R&D: sensemaking, strategizing and culture. As these boundaries have both positive and negative impact on collaboration, recommendations for the management of the boundaries – instead of their elimination – are provided in the conclusions.