Innovation ecosystems as a service: Exploring the dynamics between corporates & start-ups in the context of a corporate coworking space

The desire to create innovative organizational spaces has led to various instantiations of innovation ecosystems. Towards this direction, there is a growing interest in establishing corporate innovation ecosystems in the form of ‘corporate coworking spaces’ (CWS). From a relational ontological standpoint, this study builds on the collaborative spaces literature with the aim to investigate the emerging dynamics between corporates and start-ups in an innovation ecosystem. Through an abductive research strategy (ARS) as well as service design methods, we explore how co-creation between corporates and start-ups emerges (or not) in an innovation ecosystem that serves as a collaborative space in Denmark. Our empirical findings challenge the mostly overenthusiastic connotations and thus the study contributes to the critical coworking research stream. More specifically, we give emphasis on the co-constructive entanglement of socio-spatial arrangements and we propose a framework for revisiting the design of CWS through 1) balancing the engineered and evolving parts of the ecosystem, 2) facilitating stakeholder alignment, 3) adopting a service-oriented approach and 4) developing inclusive strategies. Apart from the implications for scholars and practitioners who study and design CWS, we argue that future research would especially benefit from building on a service-oriented approach of innovation ecosystems and we call for more interdisciplinary research.

Authors: Sophia Aumüller-Wagner and Vasiliki Baka