September 18, 2009

Open innovation progress in last three years

About 18 months ago, the journal R&D Management called for papers on open innovation. This month, the journal has published the resulting special issue, edited by Ellen Enkel, Oliver Gassman and Henry Chesbrough. (No one told me the issue was out, but I found it while updating the Open Innovation website.)

Below is the list of articles. The most striking thing about the nine articles (not counting the introductory article by the editors) is how German the issue is: seven articles by German authors, one from Switzerland, one from the U.K. (and none from outside Europe).

But if you dig a little deeper, what’s more impressive is that almost all of the articles are about Open Innovation. This means there’s a depth of open innovation research and researchers (at least in Germany) producing open innovation research good enough for a good journal like R&D Management.

Having articles about open innovation seem unremarkable. However, if you look at the previous R&D Management special issue in June 2006, five of the nine articles were clearly about user innovation with only passing mention (if at all) of open innovation as generally defined. This is no big deal if you want to argue that open innovation has subsumed and supplanted user innovation, but it is encouraging to draw the distinction if you believe (as I do) that they are related but distinct streams of research.

The most personally gratifying paper was that of Klaus Fichter on innovation communities, which picked up on two suggestions I made for open innovation researchers to expand their focus. One was the call (with Karim Lakhani) to more precisely use the “community” construction in open and user innovation research. The other (in the editor’s closing chapter of our 2006 book) was for a broader range of methodologies and levels of analysis in open innovation research. If open science is supposed to be the cumulative production of shared knowledge, as a researcher it was rewarding to see the work I’d done has had some impact.

It was also nice to see publication of the paper by Christina Raasch and her Harburg colleagues on tangible goods — including “free” beer and open source car — that was presented in a well-attended session at OUI 2009. Congratulations to all for their newly published papers.

Ellen Enkel, Oliver Gassmann, Henry ChesbroughOpen R&D and open innovation: exploring the phenomenon10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00570.x
Ulrich LichtenthalerOutbound open innovation and its effect on firm performance: examining environmental influences 10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00561.x
Marcus Matthias Keupp, Oliver GassmannDeterminants and archetype users of open innovation10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00563.x
Winfried Ebner, Jan Marco Leimeister, Helmut KrcmarCommunity engineering for innovations: the ideas competition as a method to nurture a virtual community for innovations10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00564.x
Klaus FichterInnovation communities: the role of networks of promotors in Open Innovation10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00562.x
Gordon Müller-Seitz, Guido RegerIs open source software living up to its promises? Insights for open innovation management from two open source software-inspired projects10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00565.x
Christina Raasch, Cornelius Herstatt, Kerstin BalkaOn the open design of tangible goods10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00567.x
Sara Holmes, Palie SmartExploring open innovation practice in firm-nonprofit engagements: a corporate social responsibility perspective10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00569.x
Anne-Katrin Neyer, Angelika C. Bullinger, Kathrin M. MoesleinIntegrating inside and outside innovators: a sociotechnical systems perspective10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00566.x
René Rohrbeck, Katharina Hölzle, Hans Georg GemündenOpening up for competitive advantage – How Deutsche Telekom creates an open innovation ecosystem10.1111/j.1467-9310.2009.00568.x


Alexander said...

> (No one told me the issue was out, but I found it while updating the Open Innovation website.)

I've set up a RSS feed for Open Innovation on ProQuest - it informs me via RSS and Email if there are new papers available with "Open Innovation" in the abstract. That really helps.

Joel West said...


I hadn't thought of this — it’s a great idea.

Here is the new feed I was able to make with Business Source Complete, which is what SJSU uses.

It doesn't really allow access to the articles (unless you're within an IP address range of university that has a subscription). At least it shows the publication of new articles: journal, date, authors (no abstract).


Ferran said...

There seems to be a typo mistake (unless I'm confused) on the sentence regarding open innovation subsuming and suplanting user innovation.

..."This is no big deal if you want to argue that open innovation has subsumed and supplanted open innovation"...

Joel West said...


You're right. Thanks for catching this. I made the correction.


Stephen said...

Open innovation literature update - Joel West of has posted an article about the evolution of open innovation theory... -