Inter-organizational networks are recognized as a collaborative means of enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to compete and innovate in a dynamic environment. Previous studies have analyzed network types and their characteristics, yet there is no empirically grounded network typology combining and integrating these lone-standing attributes from either an academic or a practitioner-oriented point of view. By applying an explorative, sequential, mixed methodology approach, we provide the first typology of innovation networks based on both previous theories and newly generated empirical data. We conduct a directed content analysis to compile a comprehensive data set and apply a hierarchical, agglomerative clustering approach using the Ward linking method. We contribute to existing academic network research by providing the first compelling, generic typology of inter-organizational innovation networks and thereby offer guidance to practitioners and policy makers in the jungle of word creations around innovation networks. We identify and describe 11 types of formal interorganizational innovation networks: Avid Persuaders, Value Chain Drivers, Collective Facilitators, Niche Specialists, Lateral Thinkers, Transnational Opportunity Seekers, Financially Resilient Connectors, Local Trend Sponsors, Regional Activists, Associated Industry Supporters, and Dynamic Research Groups.
Trenkle, Johannes and Beichert, Carl-Philipp, "Guidance in the Network Jungle - A Typology of Inter-Company Innovation Networks" (2020). ICEB 2020 Proceedings. 35.