November 20, 2008

Reading list

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, I gave a talk this week in Santiago on open innovation. This prompted me to pull together in one place the open innovation (and related) readings I’ve been recommending since starting this blog. (Note: as with anything else I write in this blog, these opinions are my own and thus are not necessarily those of the global innovation community).

As a starting point, I want to mention that we have a full bibliography of open innovation research on our website; I try to update this about every six months. I’ve also previously summarized definitions of open innovation.

There are also three books written (or co-written) by Henry Chesbrough:
  1. Open Innovation (2003) was the first book: it created the open innovation paradigm and has guided all open innovation research and practice since then. This is the most often cited reference on open innovation, and it would be hard for anyone to be an expert in OI without owning this book (now in paperback).
  2. If Chesbrough’s first book was written for R&D managers, then Open Business Models (2006) was written for the business side of the house. Chesbrough said that he found the first book convinced the R&D managers but those who run the numbers needed more tailored arguments.
  3. Finally, Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and I edited a 2006 book (Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm) with chapters from 15 innovation scholars. While primarily intended for an academic audience, this year I’ve used it in my MBA technology strategy class. My students seemed to be OK with reading Chapter 1, 3 (second half), 4, 5, 6. Other parts of the book will work if you are comfortable with academic jargon or can pick around it. (PDFs of the book manuscript are available online or it can be purchased).
Even with this wealth of material, those interested in open innovation shouldn’t stop there. Regular blog readers know that I’ve also been trying since May 2007 to provide an integrative perspective on three distinct research streams: open, user and cumulative innovation. While these streams overlap in what they consider, at least for now they seem to have their own scholars and body of research.

Here are some of the original readings for the two other streams:

  • User innovation. Eric Von Hippel’s 2005 book Democratizing Innovation is must reading (available for purchase or download), as it is up-to-date, lays out the current issues, and contains pointers back to the rest of the literature. The one emerging topic I would add is user entrepreneurship, as covered by Sonali Shah and Mary Tripsas in their 2007 journal paper.
  • Cumulative innovation. The most readable are the 1991 Journal of Economic Perspectives article by Suzanne Scotchmer and a deeper, more probing examination in her 2004 book, Innovation and Incentives. The broadest and most up-to-date treatment is last year’s article in Organization Science by Fiona Murray and Sibohan O’Mahony.
I gave talks in August contrasting these three streams ({open | user | cumulative} innovation) at the UOC 2008 and the Academy of Management. Those who want to cite a written lit review should for now see my workshop paper from last April, which will be coming out in a law journal next year and draws from my 2007 EURAM keynote. While this may the first actual paper I’ve written contrasting the literatures, it won’t be the last.

There’s a lot more related research streams that could also be mentioned — university-industry relations, open source software, the role of communities, etc. Perhaps I can these cover these in a future posting, but for now I hope this provides a good starting point for anyone interested in open innovation and related work.

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