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Below is a selection of articles with contributions from Synocus. The full versions of some of the papers are available upon e-mail request. 

Semi-Open Innovation in Services (pdf)

by Wallin. 2007

Article details

To keep customers satisfied companies often have to provide more added value in their offerings through knowledge based services. This implies that they have to increasingly take the role of intermediaries, combining own activities with those of third parties, to make their offerings attractive. Proactive intermediaries, business orchestrators, will have to consider how to leverage and build distinctive capabilities when developing their service strategy.

Using examples from service development cases this paper demonstrates how the capability based view on service development, here introduced as semi-open innovation, presents both a creative but also efficient way to address service innovation. The experiences from the case companies offer rich insights into the peculiarities of service development in general, and especially into the interlinking of customer preferences and capability development during the initial phase of service innovation. In addition the paper puts forward some concrete suggestions for any networked company looking for ways to activate customers as partners in a semi-open innovation process. 

Cognitive Dynamics of Capability Development Paths

Laamanen,Tomi & Wallin, Johan. Published in the Journal of Management Studies, Volume 46, No 6, Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2009.

Article details

Recent research on capability dynamics has increasingly turned its attention to the cognitive microfoundations of capability development. On the basis of a longitudinal case study of the evolution of three network security software firms, we find that the effects of managerial cognition can be detected at three distinct levels of capability development. At the level of operational capabilities, instrumental cognition affects the way in which capabilities are developed. At the level of a firm's capability portfolio, shifts in management's attention regarding capability development cause different evolutionary paths to emerge. Finally, at the extended enterprise level, managerial foresight influences the way in which a firm's capability constellation morphs over time. Our findings provide novel empirical evidence and contribute to an improved understanding of the role of managerial cognition in capability development.

Capability Implications of Different Forms of Value Creation

Wallin, Johan. Published in the series Research in Competence-Based Management, Volume 1, 47-71, A Focused Issue on The Marketing Process in Organizational Competence, Sanchez R., Heene A. JAI PRESS, 2005. 

Article details

What are the capability implications of different forms of value creation? The notion of value creation is discussed taking an open system's perspective on the firm. Using the systems perspective, seven different categories of capabilities are defined. Alternative ways of creating value are exemplified by three mini-cases, and the capability configurations of the case firms are discussed. The chapter also introduces the capability map as a tool for visualization and communication of the implications of competence-based management.

Operationalizing Competences

Wallin, Johan. Published in the series Advances in Applied Business Strategy, Volume 7, Part IV, Competence Perspectives on Managing Internal Processes, Sanchez R., Heene A. JAI PRESS, 2005. 

Article details

This paper addresses the accusation that the competence perspective lacks operationalization. By evaluating the resources and competences regarded as important a categorization of capabilities is developed. Four lower-order and three higher-order capabilities are derived introductively by analyzing the firm as an open system. Using this categorization of capabilities five cases of business model transformation are analyzed. The paper also discusses the possibilities to use this categorization for prescriptive and normative purposes and presents some preliminary ideas for further research.

Value Creation, Offering Innovation, and Competence Building

Wallin, Johan. Published in the series Advances in Applied Business Strategy, Foster L. W. Volume 6, Part A, Theory development for competence-based management, Sanchez R., Heene A. JAI PRESS, 2000. 

Article details

The paper elaborates a competence-based perspective that uses "the firm's offerings" as a predictor of organizational goal attainment. The concept of a firm's offering is founded on the concept of an organization's "strategic logic" which in turn is elaborated into a firm's "business model". Using this model, the paper provides a new perspective on the objectives and processes of competence maintenance, competence leveraging, and competence building. A case study illustrates the concepts developed.

Customer Orientation and Data Warehousing (pdf)

Wallin, Johan. 

Article details

This paper presents customer orientation as a way to mobilize the comparative advantages of suppliers and customers to best create value in the form of new offerings. The paper suggests that data warehousing is a valuable enabling tool to implement a customer oriented business model. Customers are both generators of cash-flow and a source of information. Learning from customers  can radically change the strategic direction of the firm. Therefore the question of how the customer information process is designed becomes paramount. The paper suggests that the question of information architecture is many times more critical than the technical architecture, and proposes a new approach to develop the business model and IT-architecture in parallel.

A customer oriented business model as a viable choice for an increasing number of companies. This paper presents data warehousing as an enabling technology making customer orientation even more appropriate than previously. Firstly the new value creation logic is described. Secondly a framework for offering design is presented. Thirdly an approach to combine customer orientation with the development of a data warehousing architecture is suggested. Finally the approach  is exemplified.

Customers as the Originators of Change in Competence Building: A Case Study

Wallin, Johan. Published in the Strategic Management Series, Competence-Based Strategic Management, Heene A., Sanchez R. John Wiley & Sons, 1997.

Article details

In this article, Dr. Wallin discusses the role of customers in identifying opportunities for change and helping to shape a company’s internal goal-setting process. The article explores this role through a case study of power and automation technology provider ABB Group’s Finnish subsidiary, ABB Fläkt. The article suggests that the theory of competence-based competition can be further developed by considering the ultimate product or service created from the perspective of an individual customer. 

This additional perspective enables companies to identify and leverage further competences, which will then improve overall competitiveness. These new competences may be classified according to the following four capabilities; the Relationship capability (the capability to develop and maintain relationships with customers), the Transformative capability (the capability to design products that deliver value to customers), the Generative capability (the capability to create new kinds of products performance) and the Integrative capability (the capability to deploy both firm-specific and firm-addressable resources). Furthermore, this case study also serves to identify the differences between firm-specific and firm-addressable resources from the business unit and corporate perspectives.