Opportunity Formation of Digital Services in a Well-Established Firm
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The purpose of this master thesis is to investigate how well-established firms can form new digital opportunities within an innovation project by utilizing their prior knowledge and social network in the process. To fulfill this purpose, the authors have investigated how different activities conducted in an innovation project enables well-established firms to form new digital opportunities (Research Question 1). Moreover, how a well-established firm can utilize its employees essential resources, prior knowledge and social network in the opportunity formation process (Research Question 2). The authors conducted a single-case embedded study where they researched how individuals within two innovation projects, within the same innovation program, conducted different activities to form an opportunity. The empirical data was acquired through two interview rounds with a total of 16 individual, semi-structured interviews. The empirical findings are compiled into events in time, to enable a comparative analysis where the given events were put in light of a theoretical framework developed through a literature review. The conclusion of the thesis is that there exists a deeper level of activities within the different phases of the opportunity formation process. Each phase can be divided into single events, which again can be divided into one or more activities. This contributes to the existing literature of opportunity formation presented by Ardichvili et al. (2013) who solely looked at the overall phases of the formation process. Further, the thesis concludes that the combination of opportunity recognition and opportunity creation is not performed as an initial process in the opportunity formation process, and that it rather occurs in the next phase of iteration. This is contrary to previous researchers statements, and contributes to the theory by exploiting another possible formation process. More detailed, the thesis concludes that prior knowledge and social network affects the formation process at different stages of the opportunity formation process, and further reveal that the resources are interlinked. Consequently, the thesis has incorporated both the activities and the resources in a proposed model, illustrated in Figure 5.5. This model illustrates the activity based process and how the resources coher with the recognized activities. This is an issue which has not previously been studied. The authors thesis provides insight to the gap identified by, amongst others, Hajizadeh and Zali (2016), where there exist few empirical studies within the opportunity theory where the resources have been incorporated in the opportunity formation process.