Innovation through collaboration : an exploratory study examining the open innovation output created through strategic partnerships and the subsequent effect of ongoing change processes.
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis has explored how an established firm can achieve technology-based innovation by partnering with a startup ecosystem. The objective of studying this phenomena is to gain greater understanding of what mechanisms aid established firms in ensuring innovation and value creation when collaborating with startups. Through a qualitative, embedded case study, findings revealed that closed startup ecosystems can at easier ensure quality, which benefits both the startups and the corporates as matching between the two is somewhat easier, provided that there is an activity where the established firm can get to know and explore the startups better over time. Change makes large, established firms more agile. However, slow processes, poor internal and external communication, regulation and risk aversion are bottlenecks in collaborations between large and small companies. Modularity in ecosystems can aid produce a healthy, collaborative environment, and will alleviate the matching process between the startups and established firms. By applying open innovation principles to the dynamic capabilities’ framework, an established firm can outsource parts of the sensing capability to a successful startup ecosystem as it develops its own sensing capabilities. In seizing opportunities, agile decision making is easier when the opportunity at hand is a product innovation. Disruption within the financial industry by a service-providing startup is unlikely in Norway. The threat of disruption from incumbents in other industries is more eminent, therefore, sensing and initiating combinatory activities with startups providing products and services is of high strategic value. Change is a double edged sword for open innovation collaborations. It increases the organization’s change capabilities and makes it more agile. On the other hand, it creates only short term change capacity and complicates internal and external communication, which is especially unfortunate as agile decision-making is of the utmost importance in an open innovation setting.