While there is growing importance attributed to open innovation collaborations, the existing framework does not provide clear directions on how firms should distribute their attention to the depth and breadth of their external search strategy. To navigate this tension, we extend the open innovation framework to explore how the value of external search depth on customers for the firm innovation performance may be contingent on two key factors that generate relational and informational benefits: how firms coordinate their activities with clients and the external search breadth of their open innovation strategies. In a sample of Italian firms operating in knowledge-intensive business sectors (N = 358), the study shows that excessive involvement of clients can weaken the benefit of the external search depth yielding an inverted U-shaped relationship with innovation performance, but also that coordination mechanisms and the breadth of the external search strategy can, both separately and jointly, provide informational and relational opportunities that might help to deal with an excessive reliance on customers. This article proposes a novel perspective on open innovation that, exploring the tension between integration with a single source and differentiation with a variety of sources, suggests how firms can leverage multiple types of external collaborations, combining the depth and breadth components of the openness in their external search strategies, and situating them in an integrated relationship with customers.

The tensions between Openness Dimensions in Explaining Innovation Performance

Cabigiosu A.;Li Pira S.;Campagnolo D.
2022

Abstract

While there is growing importance attributed to open innovation collaborations, the existing framework does not provide clear directions on how firms should distribute their attention to the depth and breadth of their external search strategy. To navigate this tension, we extend the open innovation framework to explore how the value of external search depth on customers for the firm innovation performance may be contingent on two key factors that generate relational and informational benefits: how firms coordinate their activities with clients and the external search breadth of their open innovation strategies. In a sample of Italian firms operating in knowledge-intensive business sectors (N = 358), the study shows that excessive involvement of clients can weaken the benefit of the external search depth yielding an inverted U-shaped relationship with innovation performance, but also that coordination mechanisms and the breadth of the external search strategy can, both separately and jointly, provide informational and relational opportunities that might help to deal with an excessive reliance on customers. This article proposes a novel perspective on open innovation that, exploring the tension between integration with a single source and differentiation with a variety of sources, suggests how firms can leverage multiple types of external collaborations, combining the depth and breadth components of the openness in their external search strategies, and situating them in an integrated relationship with customers.
Academy of Management Proceedings
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5003752
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