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Title: The hierarchical relationships between CEO characteristics, innovation strategy and firm performance in open innovation

Authors: Joon Mo Ahn

Addresses: Graduate School of Management of Technology, Sogang University, 35 Baekbeom-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, 04107, South Korea

Abstract: Open innovation (OI) has become an important business norm of successful firms; however, its strategic aspects and the role of a key individual, such as a chief executive officer (CEO) in its adoption, have been under-researched. This paper aims to investigate whether OI is relevant to SMEs and how CEO characteristics influence firm performance through OI. The hierarchical relationships between a firm and CEO characteristics are analysed with structural equation modelling (SEM) using data from 401 innovation-oriented SMEs in Korea. The results indicate that: 1) openness can make a greater contribution to firm performance; 2) CEO characteristics are positively associated with openness; 3) government support positively influences both openness and internal R&D. The research suggests that the human elements in SMEs should place a greater emphasis on OI to enhance firm performance and that policy makers should consider developing various programs for key decision makers in SMEs to increase their awareness of OI.

Keywords: open innovation; OI; chief executive officer; CEO; small and medium-sized enterprise; SME; structural equation modelling; SEM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2020.105275

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2020 Vol.24 No.1, pp.31 - 52

Accepted: 15 Nov 2017
Published online: 13 Feb 2020 *

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