Patterns of resource interaction in resource constellations: The case of start-ups approaching the Swedish energy system
This doctoral thesis deals with resource interaction in business networks. Interactive resource development is based on a combination of new and existing resources. However, interactions with specific resource constellations will look different depending on the context in which a new resource is to be embedded. Consequently, to support technological development and innovation it is important to understand how resources interact in a resource constellation and how changes evolve when to make new resources useful in the business network.
Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to develop the understanding of resource interaction in business networks. The theoretical starting point is the Industrial Network Approach to industrial markets, especially resource development through interaction. Particular attention is devoted to the resource interfaces that are created between the resources of start-ups and those of other actors in the business network, and the way these are combined to create value for the involved parties over time.
The empirical setting of the study is the Swedish energy system, which is characterised by long-term business relationships and investments and an urgent need for transformation. The method used is a single case study that describes the innovation journey of three start-ups when approaching resource constellations. The three start-ups focus on novel approaches to renewable energy.
The results of this thesis are manifold. Firstly, the study contributes an analytical model to capture connected resource interfaces in business networks and identify potential hindrances and enablers when embedding new resources into a resource constellation. Consequently, different sequences of connected resource interfaces will occur, forming different resource interaction patterns. Five patterns are identified that can help in estimating the effects of attempting to embed a new resource into a resource constellation. Secondly, the study reveals that exploring the potential versatility of a resource in a resource constellation is a matter of exploring and exploiting resource interfaces within it. Thirdly, the study emphasises the importance of considering not only the known use(s) of a resource but also its potential use(s).
Regarding policy implications, it is important to consider the network of the start-up when investing in start-ups that could be part of transforming the Swedish energy system. It is important to assess the resource collections of a start-up and the potential resource constellation it would be part of to see if any existing resources could act as a ‘bridge’ to the energy system. From a start-up manager’s perspective, it is important to have an awareness of the process of working with certain resource interfaces and how they are connected in order to allow for a start-up’s resources to be embedded into the business network. It is also necessary to find collaboration partners that are willing to make adaptations to their own resource collections.
Swedish energy system