"Open Innovation & Firms' performance"
Motivation and Overview
The concept of Open Innovation (OI) advocates that in today's increasingly boundary free markets, companies should seek to exploit inflows and outflows of information and knowledge to accelerate internal performance (Chesbrough, 2003). This open model of innovation challenges the traditional closed view of R&D, where invention and design is restricted to internal resources.
Linking OI practices and firm performance has been a hot scientific topic in the last years, since Chesbrough (2003) introduced the concept of OI. The question of how openness influences the capacity of firms to innovate and the ability to obtain higher economic returns is at the heart of OI research (Dahlander and Gann, 2010; Gassmann et al., 2010).
Most of the studies acknowledge the impact of inbound practices on innovation performance (patents, new products, revenue from new products and so forth), while the effect of outbound and coupled practices on performance remains an issue definitively less investigated;
Most of the studies investigate the impact of aggregated measures of OI practices (such as openness depth and breadth) on firm's performance and do not consider the effect of a specific practice on both innovation and economic‐financial performance;
Very few studies focus on the impact of OI practices on financial performance.
The importance of these topics relies on the consequences that understanding the real impact of OI practices on firms' performance would have on managerial practices. Thus, researches on this issue provide interesting suggestions for managers and practitioners, by investigating the influence of specific inbound, outbound and coupled OI practices both on innovation and economic‐financial firms' performance. This is of primary managerial importance because it contributes to better understand how a mix of practices, that open the company R&D process beyond its boundaries, might influence at the same time and in different ways the innovation outcomes and the economic‐financial returns.
The scope of this special issue is to provide a forum for innovation management and other business scholars to engage in this important dialogue on effectiveness of OI and to contribute to the development of cumulative knowledge in this critical area. Although an increasing interest of scholars toward the topic of OI and firm's performance, several questions are still open. We welcome researches that focus on the following areas:
Full effect of OI practices on performance. What is the impact of different kinds of OI practices on both innovation and financial performance? Do inbound, outbound, and coupled OI practices affect innovation and financial performance in the same way?
Combined effect of OI on performance. What is the combined effect of OI practices on performance? For instance, concentrating on inbound practices produces better performance than simultaneously applying inbound, outbound and coupled OI practices?
Industry‐dependency of OI effect on performance. Are OI practices performing at the same way across different industries or they are industry‐dependent? For instance, are patent‐related OI practices (such as in‐licensing, out‐licensing and co‐patenting) affecting firm performance in the same way in industries with different appropriability regimes? Moreover, is this effect dependent on the industry characteristics such as the level R&D investments, the degree of innovativeness, and so forth?
Context‐dependency of OI effect on performance. Do contextual situations or actors affect the linkage between OI practices and firm performance? For instance, are OI practices more effective within industrial districts, scientific park and so forth respect to innovation and financial performance?
All the above issues, while have a strong scientific relevance, provide new insight for managers, entrepreneurships, and practitioners that deal with OI practices in their daily activities. Providing a strong theoretical relevance and, in the same time, useful managerial implications is a specific aim for the Journal of Innovation Management.
Therefore, this special issue of Journal of Innovation Management aims to contribute towards structuring the topic and opening up a new debate on how OI practices impact on firm's performance from different points of view. Empirical researches investing the above issues or related ones are welcome for the special issue according to the following publication schedule.
Please submit your article online, at www.open‐jim.org