August 8, 2009

CFP: Open Innovation and supply chain

International Journal of Innovation Management:
Special Issue on Open Innovation and the Integration of Suppliers

Excerpts below, the full PDF is here.
Guest Editor
Dr. Alexander Brem,
School of Business and Economics, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and
VEND consulting GmbH, Nuremberg

Open innovation describes an innovation paradigm shift from a closed to an open innovation model (Chesbrough, 2003). With this idea, the term open innovation became one of the most common used buzzwords of recent years, with a plethora of research.

Hardly anybody outside a company knows its products and processes better than its suppliers (Bessant, 2003; Petersen et al., 2003; von Hippel, 1995). Research confirms that intensive integration of suppliers in the value creation process positively influences the success of the company, particularly in highly competitive industries (Wingert, 1997). This is a result of the progressing reduction in the depth of value creation of manufacturers and the increasing transfer of know-how towards the suppliers. In multilevel business-to-business relationships, the suppliers often have the best or the only access and comprehensive knowledge about the end users (Groher, 2003).

In this context, theoretical and conceptual papers on supplier integration and challenges on the firm level are welcome. Empirical studies that feature examples and results of supplier integration are encouraged, as well as papers on success factors and risks. Comparative studies that examine similarities and differences between different sectors and countries are also welcome.

Important Dates
1-2 page abstract 1st November 2009
Submission of manuscripts 1st February 2010
Notification to authors 15th March 2010
Final drafts of papers 1st June 2010
Publication Autumn 2010

You are invited to contact the guest editor to discuss the topic of a possible paper in advance: …
I am posting the CFP in the interests of completeness and as a service to my readers. However, there is one part of the CFP with which I’d violently disagree:
However, the concept has been criticized for being too prescriptive and for offering little new to innovation research or practice (Trott and Hartmann, 2009). For instance, the lead-user concept (von Hippel 1988, 2005) became one of the most important trends in innovation management in the last ten years, but is open innovation any more than the lead-user concept (see IJIM Special Issue on User Innovation, 2008, 12(3))?
This is a na├»ve and simplistic comparison of the literatures. Just as open innovation doesn’t subsume all user innovation, user innovation doesn’t subsume all open innovation.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have been working hard to tease out the similarities and differences of these two literatures, including presentations at OUI 2009, UOI 2008 and EURAM 2007. I hope to have a more detailed analysis (from my evolving research paper) to post to this blog later this year.


Dale Halling said...

To the extent that open innovation and user innovation draw more people into the innovation process then it is likely to result in more innovation – these are consistent with the Rate Law of Innovation see However, I think it would be a mistake to assume that either are the complete answer to innovation. The goal of companies should be to develop systems that encourage innovation from as many sources as possible. These systems should use Adam Smith’s time tested process of the division of labor, where more people are rewarded for being innovators, without having also to be managers, employees or otherwise stuck inside the standard corporate structure. Today companies only reward innovation when it is attached to employees who have other skills – marketing, production, management, etc. Companies should create mechanisms that rewards innovation without also losing control over their products and services. One answer is to have a core product on top of which anyone can add features. This creates a symbiotic relationship between the company and independent inventors and internal inventors.

Joel West said...


Perhaps you're responding to a stereotype of open and user innovation rather than what is presented on this blog or the original source materials.

You say:

The goal of companies should be to develop systems that encourage innovation from as many sources as possible.

This view is inherent in open innovation, e.g. as articulated in the original 2003 book by Henry Chesbrough. This perspective was also adopted by Eric von Hippel in 1988 book.

While user innovation has moved away from this broad view, an agnosticism between internal vs. external sources of innovation has always been a central tenet of open innovation. Nothing new there.

Joel West