This paper deals with the role of the State Owned enterprises (SOEs) in innovation processes. Only a few studies focus on the contribution SOEs as companies might give to produce new knowledge and technological innovation. We argue, however, that SOEs are a pillar of the innovation process and we explore conditions that can make SOEs very effective. Through two indepth case studies in two different industries (STMicroelectronics in the semiconductor and Thales Alenia Space in the space industry) we illustrate how SOEs can contribute to innovation by exploring new opportunities and recombining different sources of knowledge. We highlight the conditions that can make exploration and recombination possible. We also highlight the ability of the two companies to change their boundaries through a continuous wave of agreements, mergers and acquisitions. This way, they were able to expand beyond their domains in a way that matched the evolution of their original industries.
- Impresa pubblica
- State owned enterprises