Title: Knowledge related activities in open innovation: managers' characteristics and practices

Authors: Alex Da Mota Pedrosa; Margus Välling; Britta Boyd

Addresses: University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Allé 1, 5230 Odense M, Denmark; ESCE Paris, 10 rue Sextius Michel, 75015 Paris, France ' Rautakesko AS, a Kesko Group Company, Estonia ' Department for Border Region Studies, University of Southern Denmark, Alsion 2, 6400 Sønderborg, Denmark

Abstract: Theory and practice both have recognised the importance of external knowledge to enhance organisations' innovation performance. Due to organisations' growing interest in effectively collaborating with external knowledge sources, research has investigated the importance of firm-external stakeholder interaction in open innovation. Despite valuable insights into the importance of the variety of external knowledge sources to enhance (open) innovation, research has overlooked so far that managers' characteristics and practices are relevant for the absorption of external knowledge in open innovation. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore how organisations' absorptive capacity - exploration, transformation, and exploitation - becomes manifested in managers' characteristics and practices in open innovation. This article reports on the findings obtained from four case studies of manufacturing and service organisations. Our findings show that the exploration, transformation, and exploitation of external knowledge are associated with a distinct set of managers' characteristics and practices that capture the dominant pattern of processing external knowledge in open innovation.

Keywords: absorptive capacity; ACAP; open innovation; manager characteristics; manager practices; case study; external knowledge; innovation performance; collaboration; stakeholder interaction.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2013.052670

International Journal of Technology Management, 2013 Vol.61 No.3/4, pp.254 - 273

Published online: 23 Apr 2013 *

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