There is much controversy in the literature over the relationship between the openness of firms' innovation strategies and firm characteristics such as size, R&D intensity and sector. We argue that the controversy arises because, both theoretically and empirically, only a binary, open vs. closed, strategy has been considered. In this paper, we distinguish among three firm strategies: open, semi-open and closed, drawing upon a panel of Spanish firms (2004?2006) using data from Community Innovation Survey (CIS)-type surveys, and two different indicators of openness. Our results show that open innovators are smaller and less R&D intensive than semi-open ones, although larger and more R&D intensive than closed innovators. These results reduce some of the controversies, and show that two conflicting forces, absorptive capacity and a ?need? effect, are at stake in open innovation strategies.
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