The First (Beer) Living Lab: Learning to Sustain Network Collaboration for Digital Innovation

Frank Frößler, Boriana Rukanova, Stefan Klein, A. Higgins, Yao-hua Tan, S Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

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The Beer Living Lab was the first of a series of living labs established to analyse and improve complex cross-border trade and logistics challenges using innovative information technology. Unlike stable inter-firm networks where roles are formal and explicit, role taking and role assigning in the Beer Living Lab was highly dynamic. Although project deliverables were formally assigned, in practice responsibilities emerged as a result of actors’ own initiative or as a result of negotiation and sense-making. Even leadership behaviour shifted throughout the various stages of the initiative. The practice of knowledge broking and cultivating a close working relationship with the operational manager emerged as crucial for creating and sustaining the social network which in turn stabilised the hybrid network organisation. We discover (yet again) the key practices of knowledge brokers and the necessity for social involvement in overcoming discontinuities within organisation networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaboration in the Digital Age
Subtitle of host publicationHow Technology Enables Individuals, Teams and Businesses
EditorsKai Riemer, Stefan Schellhammer, Michaela Meinert
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-94487-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-94486-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameProgress in IS
ISSN (Print)2196-8705
ISSN (Electronic)2196-8713

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Inter-organisational networks
  • Sense making
  • Network management
  • Living-labs
  • Knowledge broker


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