Dimensions of proximity in stakeholder choice reflected in the creation of knowledge-based innovation ecosystem partnerships

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Eriksson, Vikki; Keipi, Teo; Björklund, Tua
Series: ICED
Institution: Design Factory, Aalto University
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 1505-1514
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/pds.2023.151


In order to better understand the stakeholder choices of knowledge-based organisational actors, this study focuses on a novel application of Huber’s (2012) dimensions of proximity salience, namely spatial proximity, social proximity and cognitive proximity. The population of the study is made up of knowledge-based organisational actors involved in developing an innovation ecosystem, in terms of stakeholder network creation. The extent to which the three proximity dimensions of stakeholder salience is evident in the stakeholder choices of these innovation-focused actors seeking knowledge-based collaborators is explored. Our findings show how various forms of proximity prompt the decision of who to work with among a diverse population of experts involved in building a cross-national innovation ecosystem. The various explanations that motivate stakeholder choice matched Huber’s proximity dimensions. The findings provide new insight into stakeholder choice among knowledge-based organisations, and highlight a new proximity dimension indirectly linked to cognition proximity. Termed the “potential proximity” dimension, it involves attraction to stakeholders that represent strategic value.

Keywords: Stakeholders, Knowledge-based, Innovation, Case study, Teamwork

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