Title: Building absorptive capacity for inbound open innovation: the role of knowledge brokers

Authors: Davide Chiaroni; Giovanni Toletti; Vittorio Chiesa

Addresses: Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4b, 20156 Milano, Italy ' Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4b, 20156 Milano, Italy ' Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, Via Lambruschini 4b, 20156 Milano, Italy

Abstract: One of the key drivers of open innovation is the ability of a firm to exploit external sources of innovation to nurture its innovation processes. Actively searching the external environment, however, it is not enough if the firm lacks the competences to screen and select external technology and knowledge as well as to internalise them. The ability of a firm to absorb in practice the technology or knowledge once acquired is of paramount importance for a firm willing to become an open innovator. In this paper, we investigate, through a three-year participant observation in a large multinational firm, the potential role of knowledge brokers to act as externally organised forms of absorptive capacity.

Keywords: inbound open innovation; absorptive capacity; knowledge brokers; knowledge creation; participant observation; external innovation sources; multinationals; multinational enterprises; MNEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2016.079725

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2016 Vol.11 No.4, pp.382 - 398

Received: 10 Mar 2015
Accepted: 21 Sep 2015

Published online: 07 Oct 2016 *

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