Title: How individuals perform customer knowledge absorption practices - a contextual approach to open innovation

Authors: Christian A. Mahringer; Martin Rost; Birgit Renzl

Addresses: University of Stuttgart, BWI Abt. 2 – Chair of Management and Organization, Keplerstr. 17, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany ' University of Stuttgart, BWI Abt. 2 – Chair of Management and Organization, Keplerstr. 17, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany ' University of Stuttgart, BWI Abt. 2 – Chair of Management and Organization, Keplerstr. 17, 70174 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract: Enabling individuals to perform open innovation practices requires an in-depth analysis of the context in which those practices are enacted. However, research on the context within which open innovation is practiced, is still in its beginning. This paper develops a theoretical framework of the relationship between open innovation practices, individuals performing those practices, and context factors that enable or constrain those individuals carrying out open innovation practices. Moreover, the paper reports empirical research on context factors enabling or constraining salespeople in performing customer knowledge absorption practices, a specific subset of open innovation practices, in a pharmaceutical packaging machines firm. The paper contributes to open innovation research by: 1) advancing a contextual view on open innovation; 2) emphasising the need to distinguish between open innovation practices that provide an analytical tool to unravel the social dimension of open innovation; 3) identifying context factors that enable or constrain customer knowledge absorption.

Keywords: open innovation; inbound open innovation; open innovation practices; outside-in process; customer knowledge; user knowledge; knowledge transfer; knowledge absorption; context; contingency view.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2019.099604

International Journal of Technology Management, 2019 Vol.79 No.3/4, pp.274 - 298

Available online: 09 May 2019 *

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