Purpose Focusing on some relevant constructs defined by the open innovation (OI) literature (i.e. determinants of openness; openness choices operationalized in terms of collaboration depth with scientific and business partners; organizational and social context; innovation performance in terms of novelty and efficiency), this paper investigates the relationships among such constructs. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to empirically analyse two types of relationships: between some contextual factors and firms’ openness choices; and among openness choices, a set of organizational-managerial and social factors, and OI performance outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The authors carried out a theory testing survey, involving four European countries (Finland, Italy, Sweden and the UK). The authors applied descriptive statistics and a series of regressions. Findings The authors analysed the impact exerted by external and internal variables on the collaboration depth with scientific and business partners: technological trends are relevant to move firms towards external collaborations, with both types of partners; efficiency goals pursued in collaborations are related to the collaboration depth with both types of partners, while an aggressive innovation strategy is positively related only to scientific-partner depth. Besides, collaboration depths with both partners are positively related to the both sides of innovation performance (i.e. novelty and efficiency), but the organizational-managerial and social contexts emerge as relevant mediator variables. Organizational-managerial and external relational social capital exert a beneficial role on the both types of innovation performance, while internal relational social capital benefits only novelty. Research limitations/implications The work shows important limitations such as the low level of the explanatory values in the regression models. Therefore, the results must be considered as preliminary explorative insights that may be useful to encourage further studies. Practical implications This work serves to raise managers’ awareness on the opportunity of developing organizational-managerial mechanisms, as well as on the importance of social capital to profit from collaborations. Originality/value Although during the last decade many researchers have claimed that we are in the era of OI, empirical works, which provide both a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the phenomenon, are still few. Moreover, the specific action of the context (managerial, organizational and social) as possible mediator of the performance outcomes of openness is empirically under-studied. The authors’ work attempts to fulfil these gaps.

Openness and innovation performance: an empirical analysis of openness determinants and performance mediators

Pellegrini, Luisa;
2017

Abstract

Purpose Focusing on some relevant constructs defined by the open innovation (OI) literature (i.e. determinants of openness; openness choices operationalized in terms of collaboration depth with scientific and business partners; organizational and social context; innovation performance in terms of novelty and efficiency), this paper investigates the relationships among such constructs. More specifically, the purpose of this paper is to empirically analyse two types of relationships: between some contextual factors and firms’ openness choices; and among openness choices, a set of organizational-managerial and social factors, and OI performance outcomes. Design/methodology/approach The authors carried out a theory testing survey, involving four European countries (Finland, Italy, Sweden and the UK). The authors applied descriptive statistics and a series of regressions. Findings The authors analysed the impact exerted by external and internal variables on the collaboration depth with scientific and business partners: technological trends are relevant to move firms towards external collaborations, with both types of partners; efficiency goals pursued in collaborations are related to the collaboration depth with both types of partners, while an aggressive innovation strategy is positively related only to scientific-partner depth. Besides, collaboration depths with both partners are positively related to the both sides of innovation performance (i.e. novelty and efficiency), but the organizational-managerial and social contexts emerge as relevant mediator variables. Organizational-managerial and external relational social capital exert a beneficial role on the both types of innovation performance, while internal relational social capital benefits only novelty. Research limitations/implications The work shows important limitations such as the low level of the explanatory values in the regression models. Therefore, the results must be considered as preliminary explorative insights that may be useful to encourage further studies. Practical implications This work serves to raise managers’ awareness on the opportunity of developing organizational-managerial mechanisms, as well as on the importance of social capital to profit from collaborations. Originality/value Although during the last decade many researchers have claimed that we are in the era of OI, empirical works, which provide both a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the phenomenon, are still few. Moreover, the specific action of the context (managerial, organizational and social) as possible mediator of the performance outcomes of openness is empirically under-studied. The authors’ work attempts to fulfil these gaps.
Lazzarotti, Valentina; Bengtsson, Lars; Manzini, Raffaella; Pellegrini, Luisa; Rippa, Pierluigi
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