Mosaic: A Victim of Its Own Success?

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CASE STUDY. This case asks students to put themselves in the shoes of the protagonists and make recommendations about whether Mosaic should organize a creative workshop with graduate students of an academic partner, hold a week-long co-design session for employees of an industrial partner, or find a way to do both.


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Mosaic: A Victim of Its Own Success?: Abstract

Mosaic, a multidisciplinary research platform bringing together researchers and academic collaborators, graduate students, industrial partners, and government decision-makers to accelerate innovation and creativity, recently received two proposals. One was from the University of Locarno, an academic partner, to organize a creative workshop; the other was from ExCom Canada, an industrial partner, to organize a co-design session for its employees. Both organizations wanted their workshops to be held the following week, and Mosaic’s co-directors didn’t know which proposal to accept. Moreover, ExCom’s partnership agreement would expire that year, and it wished to discuss its renewal during the co-design session. It was a difficult choice: the co-directors worried that Mosaic would be less able to attract academic partners if it focused too heavily on industrial activities. On the other hand, industrial partners might lose interest if it focused too heavily on academic research. The key question was thus this: how could Mosaic maintain a balance between academic and industry-specific research while sustaining the interest of researchers?

Teaching objectives

The case will enable students to do the following:

  • Understand the following concepts: middleground, innovation intermediary, open innovation, community of innovation, innovation ecosystem, and innovation management.
  • Understand the activities and challenges of intermediary platforms.
  • Identify the activities of intermediaries and the difficulties they may face while pursuing their objectives.
  • Connect creativity and innovation to economic geography.
  • Understand the concept of the ambidextrous organization.
  • Connect institutional logic and innovation.
  • Understand innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Analyze circumstances to understand a dilemma.
  • Evaluate the pros and cons of various options, determine the best course of action, and outline activities to avoid similar situations in the future.

Additional information

Teachers’ notes are available for university teachers only. Please contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre.

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