A long way home: How an intra-organizational innovation network overcomes its political boundaries

Christiane Rau, Anne-Katrin Neyer, Agnes Schipanski, Fiona Schweitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the still understudi ed link among political boundaries and in- novation practices and its inherent boundary-crossing mechanisms in intra- organizational innovation networks. Our single case study at the sports company adid- as derives two particular combinations of boundaries and boundary-crossing mecha- nisms to overcome political boundaries in intra-organizational innovation networks. These are the ‘open-closed (minded) boundaries’ and ‘everybody-is-an-innovator boundaries’. They have been addressed with distinct innovation practices that com- prise the boundary-crossing mechanisms ‘reframe interests’ and ‘negotiate interests’. We find that these boundary-crossing mechanisms to be crucial in the process of managing the intra-organizational innovation network. Our findings have implications for the organizational anchoring of innovation practices given its importance as ena- bler or barrier to overcome political boundaries in intra-organizational innovation networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-159
Number of pages21
JournalManagement Revue
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Boundary management
  • Innovation management
  • Innovation practices
  • Intra-organizational innovation networks
  • Knowledge exchange
  • Organizational practices
  • Political boundaries

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