Facing the winds of change: The managerial power of Open Innovation

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Anne-Laure Mention
Marko Torkkeli
João José Pinto Ferreira


Since Henry Chesbrough coined the term of Open Innovation in 2003, it has attracted increasing interest from academics, practitioners and policy-makers alike. More than a decade after, some noticeable and contrasted facts emerge. First, Open Innovation has deeply penetrated the research realms, across disciplines, yet mainly in business, economics and management. Interestingly, this research has primarily focused on the inbound side of Open Innovation, first depicting the phenomenon, then exploring the contingencies and processes, and finally, examining the relationship between Open Innovation adoption and performance. Qualitative, exploratory research has been progressively complemented by large-scale, empirical studies. Unfortunately, few studies exploit indicators going beyond the usual suspects, such as cooperation practices, information sourcing, strategic alliances, joint patenting, and the like to capture the complex and multifaceted nature of Open Innovation. The Outbound, and concomitantly, the coupled side of Open innovation is now gaining more popularity within the research community, with seminal contributions, usually depicting how firms can leverage on external channels to increase their profits and societal impact. An illustration of such research, authored by Chesbrough and Chen, is included in this thematic issue. (...)

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