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Open Innovation in Practice: An Analysis of Strategic Approaches to Technology Transactions

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1 Author(s)
Ulrich Lichtenthaler ; Otto Beisheim Sch. of Manage., Wissenschaftliche Hochschule fur Unternehmensfuhrung, Vallendar

In addition to acquiring external technology, firms have started to actively commercialize technological knowledge, which represents the opposite type of technology transactions. The strong interactions with a firm's environment contrast the traditional closed approaches to innovation. Therefore, this new paradigm has been termed open innovation. Prior research into this field has mostly been limited to theoretical considerations and case studies. More general work has usually focused either on external technology acquisition or on external technology exploitation. Accordingly, I take an integrated perspective and regard the two types of technology transactions as the main dimensions of a firm's strategic approach to open innovation. Drawing on these dimensions, I use data from a questionnaire-based study of 154 middle and large companies to identify groups of firms that pursue homogeneous strategies regarding open innovation. Accordingly, this analysis is the first large-scale study that describes the current state of open innovation in practice. Moreover, it is the first work that identifies strategic approaches of firms to technology transactions along the innovation process.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 1 )