Purpose: The open innovation paradigm is an alternative and/or complementary way to knowledge management processes in its various stages, questioning the basic assumptions where some of the technological innovation strategies and processes are based on. The new logic of innovation process exploits knowledge dissemination through new innovation communities, on the one hand, and, considers of strategic value the external access to intangible resources. Thus, this approach supposes an alternative view to the traditional close innovation, focused on the exclusive exploitation of value innovations. This paper aims to contribute to building an integrated model of key factors to success in open innovation processes. It is analyzed for the role that certain key knowledge management decisions have on the results of open innovation projects, to facilitate the change process and provide new capacity or skills to do so. Design/methodology/approach: Through the review of theoretical and empirical literature, we show the main variables related to the functioning of open innovation systems, and establish various propositions about the meaning and intensity of such relationships. Findings: The management of open innovation project improves through three external factors: technical leadership based on experience, the intensive use of ICT, which allows a multilateral communication, and the existence of intermediate agents or facilitators with a strong neutral attitude. The results also depend on internal factors: the link function, the search routines, the establishment of incentive systems to encourage proactivity and organizational culture. Originality/value: In the absence of full proposals to guide effective decision making on both the management of relationships between organizations, as well as factors inherent to each of them, this paper proposes an exploratory model that integrates the key success factors in open innovation processes. © Intangible Capital, 2011.
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