Towards a Theory of Open Innovation: Three Core Process Archetypes

Item Type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Abstract Open Innovation is a phenomenon that has become increasingly important for both practice and theory over the last few years. The reasons are to be found in shorter innovation cycles, industrial research and development's escalating costs as well as in the dearth of resources. Subsequently, the open source phenomenon has attracted innovation researchers and practitioners. The recent era of open innovation started when practitioners realised that companies that wished to commercialise both their own ideas as well as other firms' innovation should seek new ways to bring their in-house ideas to market. They need to deploy pathways outside their current businesses and should realise that the locus where knowledge is created does not necessarily always equal the locus of innovation - they need not both be found within the company. Experience has furthermore shown that neither the locus of innovation nor exploitation need lie within companies' own boundaries. However, emulation of the open innovation approach transforms a company's solid boundaries into a semi-permeable membrane that enables innovation to move more easily between the external environment and the company's internal innovation process. How far the open innovation approach is implemented in practice and whether there are identifiable patterns were the questions we investigated with our empirical study. Based on our empirical database of 124 companies, we identified three core open innovation processes: (1) The outside-in process: Enriching a company's own knowledge base through the integration of suppliers, customers, and external knowledge sourcing can increase a company's innovativeness. (2) The inside-out process: The external exploitation of ideas in different markets, selling IP and multiplying technology by channelling ideas to the external environment. (3) The coupled process: Linking outside-in and inside-out by working in alliances with complementary companies during which give and take are crucial for success. Consequent thinking along the whole value chain and new business models enable this core process.
Authors Gassmann, Oliver & Enkel, Ellen
Language English
Subjects business studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
Refereed Yes
Date 7 July 2004
Event Title R&D Management Conference (RADMA) 2004
Event Location Lissabon
Event Dates 07-09.07.2004
Depositing User Ellen Enkel
Date Deposited 25 Oct 2004 11:16
Last Modified 20 Jul 2022 16:33



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Gassmann, Oliver & Enkel, Ellen: Towards a Theory of Open Innovation: Three Core Process Archetypes. 2004. - R&D Management Conference (RADMA) 2004. - Lissabon.

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