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Congratulations to Kathrin Borner on successfully defending her PhD dissertation

25 June 2024
On November 21, 2024, Kathrin Borner from the KIN Center for Digital Innovation successfully defended her PhD dissertation titled "Strategic Renewal through New Complementarities: Studies on Incumbents’ Digital Innovation Efforts."

The dissertation discusses how digital innovations bring about new dynamics of how firms innovate. Instead of acting in traditional producer–supplier relationships where incumbent firms have autonomy over the supply chain, incumbent firms may collaborate across their boundaries in innovation ecosystems or set up internal corporate ventures to create new capabilities. To reap the benefits from digital innovations, such as IoT (Internet of Things) enabled home appliances, incumbent firms must strategically renew. Until now most firms struggle to achieve such strategic renewal. Building on four years of ethnographic research, this dissertation offers insights on how firms can achieve strategic renewal on the level of the ecosystem, the dyad between incumbent firm and internal corporate venture, and the level of the internal corporate venture. Together, the insights of this dissertation emphasize the need for creating new complementarities for strategic renewal of incumbents. Creating such complementarities requires identifying complementary combinations and creating compatibility.

Prior to Kathrin Borner's PhD defense, a VU symposium was convened at VU Amsterdam. Scholars and managers gathered to discuss the latest research on strategies for achieving strategic renewal and developing capabilities in organizations.

More information on the thesis.