University of Oulu

Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Satu Nätti, Orchestrator types, roles and capabilities – A framework for innovation networks, Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 74, 2018, Pages 65-78, ISSN 0019-8501,

Orchestrator types, roles and capabilities : a framework for innovation networks

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Author: Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia1; Nätti, Satu1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, P.O. Box 4600, 90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-10-16


In this study, attention is turned to those actors who orchestrate innovation networks; their types, roles and capabilities. We assert that the type of orchestrator and what they (can) do are related aspects. Our starting point is that while orchestration in general comprises a variety of important activities, ranging from ensuring knowledge mobility to coordination, not all of these are accomplished by the same means or are equally emphasized at all times. A conceptual review of existing literature and the related qualitative comparative analysis suggest that orchestrators take different roles by focusing on specific sets of activities at certain times and conducting them in different ways. This implies mastering specific capabilities. Furthermore, sometimes circumstances push orchestrators to adopt roles that are unnatural to them. In those cases, capabilities of a different nature become relevant.

Following from this line of thinking, our findings indicate three types of capabilities. First, operational role-implementation capabilities determine the ease and success of executing role-specific activities. Second, we further suggest that role-switching capabilities allow the orchestrator to move between the roles that it can naturally adopt. A third type of capability, role-augmentation, is needed to adopt roles beyond natural limitations related to orchestrator type. The resulting conceptual framework aims to combine the scattered existing literature and provide conceptual tools for future research.

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Series: Industrial marketing management
ISSN: 0019-8501
ISSN-E: 1873-2062
ISSN-L: 0019-8501
Volume: 74
Pages: 65 - 78
DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2017.09.020
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license