Title: From outsourcing to Open Innovation: a case study in the oil industry

Authors: Luisa Pellegrini; Valentina Lazzarotti; Emanuele Pizzurno

Addresses: University of Pisa, Department of Energy and Systems Engineering, Largo Lucio Lazzarino, 56122 Pisa, Italy. ' Università Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Corso Matteotti 22, 21053 Castellanza (VA), Italy. ' Università Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Corso Matteotti 22, 21053 Castellanza (VA), Italy

Abstract: This paper describes the experience of Eni, from the awareness of its weakness against external actors (mainly service companies) to the definition of a structured approach to partnership, i.e., Open Innovation (OI), to overcome such weakness. Implementing OI is complex, and the Majors' position is not easy to change. In particular, the strong appeal to outsourcing geophysics, drilling, onshore and offshore operations and well activities by Eni Exploration and Production (E&P) division led to a technological trajectory that proved to be difficult to correct in the short term. Indeed, E&P innovation is in the hands of services companies, thereby compromising Eni's ability to innovate.

Keywords: open innovation; outsourcing; oil industry; absorptive capacity; Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi; Eni; Italy; multinational corporations; MNCs; company weaknesses; external actors; service companies; structured approaches; partnerships; petroleum; geophysics; oil drilling; onshore operations; offshore operations; oil wells; oil exploration; oil production; technological trajectories; compromise; technology intelligence; technology planning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2012.048476

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2012 Vol.8 No.2, pp.182 - 196

Published online: 10 Aug 2012 *

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