The INTERORG Marketing Research Center at Örebro University School of Business highlights inter-organizational network and relationship issues with a focus on strategy, supply chain and logistics, entrepreneurship and innovation, as well as marketing. The centre's purpose is to increase and spread the knowledge of the social, technological, and economic aspects of inter-organizational interaction, business-to-business.
Research at INTERORG
The research conducted at INTERORG includes focus on collaborative business practices and strategies, business models, entrepreneurship/innovation, the industry-level evolution of sectors and business-level transformation, and the partly environmental consequences of the organizing of business among companies. Some current research projects are:
- Industry evolution and deregulation. This research comprises sector-level studies of actors in various industry sectors, including the music recording industry, the sporting goods industry, and the development of sectors post-deregulation, dealing with the finance and the telecom sector. The center has previously been involved in, for instance, research on the digitalization of fast-moving consumer goods.
- Business models. Key focus in this research is the development of new business models, trust in new settings (including the sharing economy), and value creation and co-creation. It also includes how business models change as the consequence of additive manufacturing.
- The sharing economy. The project emphasizes the spread of sharing economy-based business models, actors involving themselves – from a supply and demand side – in the sharing economy, incumbent firms’ responsive business models to sharing economy initiatives in their sectors, and policy-level impacts of the sharing economy.
- Innovation and entrepreneurship. Broadly depicted, the research focuses on innovation systems, the co-organizing of innovations, entrepreneurial orientation and opportunities, open innovation, and the consequences of new innovations on existing collaborations among companies. The role of academic start-ups and their establishment of business connections is also studied.
- Strategizing. The focus of the research is on various types of strategies of firms, including strategies on collaborative levels, the consequence of individual firms’ strategies on their collaboration and business partners, and how strategies are shaped and understood based on existing collaborations and business connections.
- Future Rail. This three-year project, 2014-2018, funded by the Knowledge Foundation, concerns environmental effects of supply chain arrangements, and how to coordinate the utilization of common resources to create sustainable logistical systems. The key focuses are to map the mechanisms impacting on the collective organizing in logistic networks and to explore its strategic effects on actor roles in logistics.
In addition to the projects mentioned above, the research in INTERORG also concerns for instance servitization, board interlock research, and mergers and acquisitions.
Funding bodies and collaborations
The center was the most published research group in 2016 within the business school, and has successfully obtained funding from various research councils. The research at the center is currently funded by Forskningsstiftelserna Handelsbanken, the Knowledge Foundation (KK-stiftelsen), MIT, and up until recently, Handelsrådet. Industrial and research partners – including The Ratio Institute and PLM Group – provide also research funding to the center.
The research is conducted in collaboration with researchers at other Swedish universities (e.g., Uppsala, Chalmers and Lund) and throughout Europe (e.g., with researchers in the UK, Finland, Italy, Spain and Denmark). It also collaborates closely with industry and public organizations (e.g., Örebro Kommun, Arbetsförmedlingen, Halvarsson & Halvarson, Handla24, ICA, BillerudKorsnäs, Trafikverket).
Knowledge is co-produced with the industry
The center has an outspoken interest for method development and practices, which it links to contemporary developments in industry. At INTERORG, a multiplicity of methodological and theoretical frameworks is encouraged to understand and explain inter-organizational problems, such as case studies, literature reviews, archive studies, secondary data and discourse analysis, and agent-based modelling and simulations. Empirical research in collaboration with industry and business partners are encouraged and used as a deliberate strategy for funding. Among its seven PhD students, two are industrial PhD students. The co-production model of knowledge production ensures that the results are industry-relevant and useful in industrial practice.
Contemporary research colors education
In terms of education, INTERORG has recently developed and recreated a number of courses to increase students’ preparedness for the business life of tomorrow. This includes an increased focus on entrepreneurship, business model transformation, creativity to create new market opportunities and adapt to new circumstances, up-to-date business marketing knowledge, and strategy courses.