On the naming of innovation districts
Keywords:innovation districts, naming, branding, triple helix, complex organizations
Name plays a fundamental role in defining and differentiating a company within a category. In this paper we identify how the leaders of 7 innovation districts (22@Barcelona, Ann Arbor Spark, EECi, Porto Digital, Ruta N – Medellín, SK-Skolkovo and TusPark) understand the construction of the names of their innovation districts. We take an inductive approach utilizing two types of data: exploring the innovation district directors' understanding through direct semi-structured interviews and analyzing secondary data consisting of website and brochures. We show how innovation district leaders use more than one classification name for their organization and that these names either tend towards a more strategic or institutional posture. We contribute by extending existing naming theory to include innovation districts, a complex organization composed by actors of the Triple Helix. We also contribute by providing managerial guidance to assist in understanding the importance of the role of their organization's name in long-term positioning.
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