The story of this infographic began 16 years ago during a Summer School organized by the University of Cambridge. Not in the City of Perspiring Dreams itself, but on the mystical mountain Uludağ in Turkey, with 15 fellow students in a mountain hut more than 1 hour away from the nearest town with cellphone reception. On this mountain, led by Cambridge professor Jim Platts, we took an ESTIEM traineeship in transformative leadership. Without taking a deep dive into the material of the Summer School, one of the models that we started to work with was the Enneagram. Not only the power of the model itself, but also the history behind it, really intrigued me and so the story began.
Over the years, I’ve read much more about the Enneagram. Mostly used in (business) psychology, the framework is best described as an adaptive approach to recognize your own – and others’- behaviour in interactions with others. So it’s not, as many think, a framework for personality traits, like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or the Big-5 personality test. It perhaps holds the middle between these personality tests and the Rose of Leary, a theory of behavioral influence. The theory helps you to find your comfort-spot and from there on explains how your interactions with others happen and could be improved if you learn how to read it. It’s adaptable: it may change under different circumstances, under different preconditions and in different situations.
Based on the rankings of the SSRN database, we are able to create a ranking of the best – most downloaded – Open Innovation and related topics articles that have been published in 2013 so far. Therefore, this is a list of brand new theories, recent case studies, preliminary results and pioneering research.
The Theory of Crowd Capital; Prpic, J., & Shukla, P. Abstract: We are seeing more and more organizations undertaking activities to engage dispersed populations through Information Systems (IS). Using the knowledge-based view of the organization, this work conceptualizes a theory of Crowd Capital to explain this phenomenon. Crowd Capital is a heterogeneous knowledge resource generated by an organization, through its use of Crowd Capability, which is defined by the structure, content, and process by which an organization engages with the dispersed knowledge of individuals – the Crowd. Our work draws upon a diverse literature and builds upon numerous examples of practitioner implementations to support our theorizing. We present a model of Crowd Capital generation in organizations and discuss the implications of Crowd Capital on organizational boundary and on IS research.
Leveraging External Sources of Innovation: A Review of Research on Open Innovation, West, J. & Bogers, M. Abstract: This article reviews research on open innovation that considers how and why firms commercialize external sources of innovations. It examines both the “outside-in” and “coupled” modes of Enkel et al. (2009). From an analysis of prior research on how firms leverage external sources of innovation, it suggests a four-phase model in which a linear process — (1) obtaining, (2) integrating and (3) commercializing external innovations — is combined with (4) interaction between the firm and its collaborators. This model is used to classify papers taken from the top 25 innovation journals identified by Linton and Thongpapan (2004), complemented by highly cited work beyond those journals. A review of 291 open innovation-related publications from these sources shows that the majority of these articles indeed address elements of this inbound open innovation process model. Specifically, it finds that researchers have front-loaded their examination of the leveraging process, with an emphasis on obtaining innovations from external sources. However, there is a relative dearth of research related to integrating and commercializing these innovations.
Research on obtaining innovations includes searching, enabling, filtering, and acquiring — each category with its own specific set of mechanisms and conditions. Integrating innovations has been mostly studied from an absorptive capacity perspective, with less attention given to the impact of competencies and culture (including not-invented-here). Commercializing innovations puts the most emphasis on how external innovations create value rather than how firms capture value from those innovations. Finally, the interaction phase considers both feedback for the linear process and reciprocal innovation processes such as co-creation, network collaboration and community innovation.
This review and synthesis suggests several gaps in prior research. One is a tendency to ignore the importance of business models, despite their central role in distinguishing open innovation from earlier research on inter-organizational collaboration in innovation. Another gap is a tendency in open innovation to use “innovation” in a way inconsistent with earlier definitions in innovation management. The article concludes with recommendations for future research that include examining the end-to-end innovation commercialization process, and studying the moderators and limits of leveraging external sources of innovation.
The Golden Circle of Innovation: What Companies Can Learn from NGOs When It Comes to Innovation, Spruijt, J.P., Spanjaard, T.G.S. & Demouge, K. Abstract: This paper examines the lessons that companies can learn from NGOs when it comes to the why, the how and the what of innovation. It explains innovation from the inside out: why is it important and what are the grand challenges? Followed by the how: in what way can innovation be managed and how does the innovation process look like in a modern economy?
This introduction is elaborated on with two case studies within NGOs in The Netherlands, Fair2 and Liliane Foundation. It leads to several conclusions and hypotheses for further research.
Sustainability-Oriented Innovation, Hansen, E.G. & Grosse-Dunker, F. Abstract: Sustainability-oriented innovation (SOI): the commercial introduction of a new (or improved) product (service), product-service system, or pure service which – based on a traceable (qualitative or quantitative) comparative analysis – leads to environmental and (or) social benefits over the prior version’s physical life-cycle (‘from cradle to grave’).
Open Innovation and Organization Design, Tushman, M., Lakhani, K. & Lifshitz-Assaf, L. Abstract: Abernathy’s (1978) empirical work on the automotive industry investigated relationships among an organization’s boundary (all manufacturing plants), its organizational design (fluid vs. specific), and its ability to execute product and/or process innovations. Abernathy’s ideas of dominant designs and the locus of innovation have been central to scholars of innovation, R&D, and strategic management. Similarly, building on March and Simon’s (1958) concept of organizations as decision making systems, Woodward (1965), Burns and Stalker (1966), and Lawrence and Lorsch (1967) examined relationships among organizational boundaries, organization structure, and innovation in a set of industries that varied by technology and environmental uncertainty. These and other early empirical works have led a diverse group of scholars to develop theories about firm boundaries, organization design, and the ability to innovate.
Managing Crowd Innovation in Public Administration, Collm, A. & Schedler, K. Abstract: Governments all over the world have discovered the world of social media, for better or for worse. Whereas some of them are making every effort to prevent the unhierarchical and therefore uncontrollable (dissident) opinion-forming process in Web 2.0, others are looking for ways of putting the potentialities of this new opening-up of communication to use. One approach that is increasingly being tried out is opening up innovation processes in government. However, this opening-up of innovation processes is anything but trivial. It requires a thoroughly thought-out strategy and thus confronts government systems with extensive challenges if it is not to suffer the same fate as other unsuccessful attempts at reform in the past. In our essay, we reflect on the consequences of these challenges for public managers.
Adopting Open Innovation to Stimulate Frugal Innovation and Reverse Innovation, Hossain, M. Abstract: Frugal innovation and reverse innovation have very recently emerged as interesting concepts. Frugal innovation is based on cost constraints to serve low-income customers in developing countries. When frugal innovation comes to developed countries and becomes commercially successful it is considered as reverse innovation. Recently, many companies, such as GE, Siemens, Procter and Gamble, etc. have engaged heavily in frugal innovation and in reverse innovation. Open innovation, on the other hand, has not been considered in the context of low-income customers in developing countries. We argue that using open innovation concept in developing countries may boast frugal innovation and reverse innovation. Consequently, quality product with low-income will be widely available not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Hence, western companies need to change their long hold business strategies and reshape their business models. This study aims to illustrate why western companies need to be aware of and take step to become successful in the turbulent business world.
The Impact of Visibility in Innovation Tournaments: Evidence from Field Experiments, Wooten, J.O. & Ulrich, K.T. Abstract: Contests have a long history of driving innovation, and web-based information technology has opened up new possibilities for managing tournaments. One such possibility is the visibility of entries – some web-based platforms now allow participants to observe others’ submissions while the contest is live. Seeing other entries could broaden or limit idea exploration, redirect or anchor searches, or inspire or stifle creativity. Using a unique data set from a series of field experiments, we examine whether entry visibility helps or hurts innovation contest outcomes. Our eight contests resulted in 665 contest entries for which we have 11,380 quality ratings. Based on analysis of this data set, we provide evidence that entry visibility influences the outcome of tournaments via two pathways: (1) changing the likelihood of entry from an agent and (2) shifting the quality characteristics of entries. For the first, we show that entry visibility generates more entries by increasing the number of participants. For the second, we find the effect of entry visibility depends on the setting. Seeing other entries results in more similar submissions early in a contest. For single-entry participants, entry quality “ratchets up” with the best entry submitted by other contestants previously if that entry is visible, while moving in the opposite direction if it’s not. However, for participants who submit more than once, those with better prior submissions improve more when they can not see the work of others. The variance in quality of entries also increases when entries are not visible, usually a desirable property of tournament submissions.
Digital Scholarship: Exploration of Strategies and Skills for Knowledge Creation and Dissemination, Cobo, C. & Naval, C. Abstract: Widespread access to digital technologies has enabled digital scholars to access, create, share, and disseminate academic contents in innovative and diversified ways. Today academic teams in different places can collaborate in virtual environments by conducting scholarly work on the Internet. Two relevant dimensions that have been deeply affected by the emergence of digital scholarship are new facets of knowledge generation (wikis, e-science, online education, distributed R&D, open innovation, open science, peer-based production, online encyclopedias, user generated content) and new models of knowledge circulation and distribution (e-journals, open repositories, open licenses, academic podcasting initiatives, etc.). Despite the potential transformation of these novel practices and mechanisms of knowledge production and distribution, some authors suggest that digital scholarship can only be of significance if it marks a radical break in scholarship practices brought about through the possibilities enabled in new technologies. This paper address some of the key challenges and raise a set of recommendations to foster the development of key skills, new models of collaboration and cross-disciplinary cooperation between digital scholars.
Dissenting State Patent Regimes, Hrdy, C.A. Abstract: Inventors who believe in open innovation should start applying for state patents instead of U.S. patents. Patenting at the state level prevents rivals from obtaining U.S. patents and generates valuable innovation spillovers in other states where the patent has no legal effect. It also creates a unique opportunity to force patent law reform from the bottom up. In exchange for filing fees, inventors can demand patents based on rules that support open innovation, like shorter terms in fast-moving industries, stricter disclosure requirements, or new restrictions on patenting by non-practicing entities. The lobbyists who stymie reform at the national level will have a much harder time blocking reform in all fifty states. Meanwhile, patent law’s dissenters need only one state to start granting patents in order to get courts, the media, and eventually Congress to pay attention.
Open Innovation has been hyped for over a decade now. Despite of the fact that many researchers have been researching core aspects of the Open Innovation definition – as Henry Chesbrough has put it in 2003 and redefined it in 2010 – the concept has somewhat ‘blurred’, meaning that Open Innovation oftenly is mistaken for related terminology, such as (plain and easy) collaboration, co-creation or corporate transparancy. So it’s time to make choices…what is Open Innovation and what is not Open Innovation?
Ed Cottam, a researcher currently undertaking a PhD on Open Innovation at the Newcastle Business School, recently started an extended research study to break down the topic of open innovation into its bare essentials. This way he aims to be able to identify the key concepts that really matter and removing the superfluous.
He is asking your help, as part of the Open Innovation expert community, to gather as much qualitative information as possible. If you have experience in the field of (open) innovation or innovation management, he (and the whole community) is desparately waiting for your input.
Please answer the following questions (preferably in a comment, but an email will also do fine); leave your email address and we’ll share the final results with you personally. Thanks in advance on behalf of Ed Cottam!
Please specify your current position/organisation and your experience with Open Innovation. Please specify an URL to your Linkedin-account so that Ed Cottam is able the check your credentials (for research purposes).
Currently, what are the key on-going debates within open innovation?
What are the key perspectives in open innovation?
What resource(s) would you recommend a PhD student study, providing an excellent account of the chronological development, perspectives and debates in open innovation? This could be a thesis, article(s) or book(s).
If you were to train a student for 8 weeks so they could produce an excellent, PhD standard literature review on open innovation and you had a million dollars on the line, what would you have them focus on? What would that programme look like?
Do you know any researchers who’ve tackled this corpus very effectively and efficiently? Who are they? What did they do that was different?
What are your favourite open innovation instructional books and resources? If a PhD student had to teach themselves, what would you suggest they use?
Switzerland keeps its prime position in the list and Singapore stays second. Switzerland is renowned for its high investment in Research and Development and highly integrated collaboration efforts between business and knowledge institutes. In Singapore the main factors mentioned are the professional attitude and efficiency of the government. The top 5 is completed with two Scandinavian countries – Sweden and Finland, because of their investments in innovation and their outstanding integration between higher education and companies and The Netherlands.
One of the new-comers in the Top 5 are The Netherlands, according to the recently published report by the World Economic Forum. The last time they were part of the Top 5 was in 2000. The Netherlands score particularly high on “advanced technology” and “innovation” and is therefore one of the most innovative countries of the world this year. The figure below shows the competitiveness of The Netherlands over the years:
The report has taken into account a bunch of different factors, grouped among the following aspects:
Health and prime school
Higher education and training
Efficiency of the goods market
Efficiency of the labour market
Development of the financial markets
Spreaded across the different aspects, several different factors in the field of innovation have been studied and depicted in the report. For instance, The Netherlands score as followed on those factors:
The following factors translate as: capacity for innovation, quality of scientific institutes, expenditures on R&D, R&D-related collaboration between universities and companies, governmental procurement of advanced technological products, availability of knowledge workers and intelectual property/patents.
Six leading companies from the pharmaceutical industry have decided to join forces to beat cost pressures. While on the one hand being strong competitors, they on the other hand decided to get together and share best practises in “a bid to improve efficiency and bring down rising operation costs.”
This article was brought to our attention by one of our readers; thanks for sharing this example with us, Aravind Ananthakrishnan
In the first months they have learned many lessons from each other, for instance:
They used Ranbaxy’s best case of buying power from India and so cutting on the energy bill.
When visiting each others plants, they saw Orchid using a condensate recovery system in their boilers, which cut down water usage.
From Ranbaxy, they learned to use poweroperated boilers instead of steamoperated ones, increasing efficiency.
They joined forces on procurement, such as buying crude oil. “Procurement calls are being taken on the basis of our discussions and collective understanding of the market,” says H.T. Patel of Zydus Cadila, who heads LAZORR’s purchase and procurement platform.
They also joined forces to see trends coming, looking out of the industry borders itself.
Earlier this week, ABN AMRO, released a report on Open Innovation, titled “Teaming up on Open Innovation: art or science?”. Although solely released for the food sector, it explores Open Innovation theory from a new and interesting perspective. The report is authored by prof. dr. Omta (University of Wageningen), dr. Fortuin (Food Valley) and drs. Dijkman (ABN AMRO).
The core of the article consists of 5 key elements: the critical (failure) factors for Open Innovation.
What are the critical (failure) factors of Open Innovation?
Defining problems and setting goals: according to the authors there are three ways of overcoming this issue. First of all, do a lot of (premature) research and dare to stop when you’re on a dead end road. Secondly, create road maps. Meaning: use trends and market knowledge to look at least 5 years ahead, because that’s time it takes for a radical innovation to land. And lastly, “look different, look foward”, referring to Henry Fords quotation: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Partner selection: try to find partners as fast as possible. Management commitment in this process is essential. Also, don’t be egocentric. Open Innovation is about contributing rather than perceiving. And lastly, there is more contracts. A succesfull collaboration is built by mutual trust and commitment.
Building a contract: set rules and find and define the risks that are involved in collaboration. It is easy to say that risks are inevitable, but in fact, they are not if you think about them thouroughly.
Executing the Open Innovation project: don’t let fear rule the process. It happens to every project that – at some time – there is some distrust or mistrust in the partnership. Invest in trust, do what it takes. Link cultures and communicate oftenly and profoundly. This also means investing in speaking each others (technical) language and managing conflicts.
Monitoring the project: start off by knowing how important costs are, how the project will be managed and what other preconditions are necessary during the project.
Art or Science?
Oddly, the report doesn’t give an answer to the question that is raised in the title of their work. Which gives us the opportunity to ask you: what do you think: is Open Innovation art or science?
Last month, Rogier van der Heide, Chief Design Officer of Philips Lighting, spoke at TEDxAmsterdam about Open Innovation. He explained a few beaatiful examples of collaboration in the design phase to maximize possible outcomes. An impressive 7-minute speech, in which he – instead of using the normal powerpoint sheets – touched the audience by showing video’s, playing with light effects, got ‘Fergie’ of the Black Eyed Peace on the stage and made an old Rembrandt litteraly alive. More information on his speech: here.
On the Philips website he adds: “In order to get to innovations, it is essential to collaborate well and to share knowledge. Innovating is not something you do alone, it works like a ‘pressure cooker’, in which the innovation of LED technology is being accelarated in the application for – for instance – the illumination of art and buildings.”
He rounds off his speech with the following quote:
“Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’re never alone. No one has the key just by himself.”
The news paper “Financieel Dagblad”, Financial Daily, has recently published an article on Open Innovation. It was based upon several interviews with industry leaders regarding a research paper published by Deloitte earlier this week. The title says it all: “Companies need to collaborate on innovation.” In the article, the author is referring to Open Innovation as “cooperation between organisations and institutions.”
The interviewees all mention the need for Open Innovation, though still have second thoughts about Intellectual Property. According to Wasili Bertoen (Deloitte): “Open Innovation is the way to go, since product life cycles are getting shorter and knowledge becomes easier accessible and shareable. It is basically impossible to ‘own’ all this knowledge. So, in our opinion, collaboration is crucial. And that is something we’re doing only sparsely.”