March 30, 2013

Retraction score: 9-5

A new Ulrich Lichtenthaler retraction appeared today in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. The journal reported: “This article has been retracted at the request of the authors.”

In my summary of the 2012 roundup, I listed this as one of 12 high-risk articles, because it was explicitly based on the Licensing Executive Survey which accounting for 6/8 of Dr. Lichtenthaler’s retractions.

In the retraction race, Licthenthaler leads with 9, vs. 5 for Ernst and many others in a distant third.

Bibliography of Lichtenthaler-Ernst Retracted Articles

  1. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich & Holger Ernst (2009). “Technology licensing strategies: the interaction of process and content characteristics,” Strategic Organization, 7 (2): 183-221. doi:10.1177/1476127009102672 (Retracted by the authors and editor, June 2012)

  2. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich (2009). “The role of corporate technology strategy and patent portfolios in low-, medium- and high-technology firms,” Research Policy, 38 (3): 559-569. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2008.10.009 (Retracted by the editors, July 2012)

  3. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich (2010). “Determinants of proactive and reactive technology licensing: A contingency perspective,” Research Policy, 39 (1): 55-66. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2009.11.011 (Retracted by the editors, July 2012)

  4. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich & Holger Ernst (2012). “Integrated knowledge exploitation: The complementarity of product development and technology licensing,” Strategic Management Journal, 33 (5): 513-534. doi: 10.1002/smj.1951 (Retracted by the authors, August 2012)

  5. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich (2009). “Product business, foreign direct investment, and licensing: Examining their relationships in international technology exploitation,” Journal of World Business, 44 (4): 407-420. doi: 10.1016/j.jwb.2009.01.003 (Retracted by the editor and author, August 2012)

  6. Ernst, Holger, Ulrich Lichtenthaler & Carsten Vogt (2011). “The Impact of Accumulating and Reactivating Technological Experience on R & D Alliance Performance,” Journal of Management Studies, 48 (6): 1194-1216. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6486.2010.00994.x (Retracted by the authors, editors and publisher, August 2012)

  7. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, Holger Ernst & Martin Hoegl (2010). “Not-Sold-Here: How Attitudes Influence External Knowledge Exploitation,” Organization Science, 21 (5): 1054-1071. 10.1287/orsc.1090.0499 (Retracted by the editors, November 2012)

  8. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich (2008). “Externally commercializing technology assets: An examination of different process stages,” Journal of Business Venturing, 23 (4): 445-464. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2007.06.002 (Retracted by the editor and author, November 2012)

  9. Holger Ernst, James G. Conley, Nils Omland, “How to create commercial value from patents: The role of patent management,” Research Policy, doi 10.1016/j.respol.2012.04.012 (Retracted by the authors and editor prior to publication, February 2013)

  10. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, Eckhard Lichtenthaler & Johan Frishammar (2009). “Technology commercialization intelligence: Organizational antecedents and performance consequences,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 76 (3): 301-315. dpi: 10.1016/j.techfore.2008.07.002 (Retracted at the request of the authors, March 2013)

March 24, 2013

Unconfirmed retraction report

It’s been a month since any news on open innovation retractions. I know from comments at conferences and via email that this topic is among the most closely read categories on this blog — perhaps ahead of news of Dr. Chesbrough himself and certainly more eagerly awaited than blatant self-promotion of my own work.

I got an email Thursday afternoon that included a copy of an email from a journal editor mentioning the withdrawal of three open innovation-related articles and the pending announcement of two retractions. Doing a quick Google search, I found a blog that also included the same email. On Thursday night I posted an blog entry that linked to the other blog and quoted the email.

On Friday that blog had been removed from WordPress for violating terms of service. I immediately contacted the editor for direct confirmation of the email’s validity, and removed the blog posting until I heard more. So far I’ve not heard anything.

I will repost the original article as soon as I know that the earlier claims are correct. It is taking longer than I had hoped. I apologize for making such an error and confusing my readers.

I spent two years as a full-time newspaper reporter, and three years as a part-time computer journal columnist. I make no claims of being a journalist today, because my day job is as a college professor. Still, in my six years as a blogger, I’ve tried to use the same processes and standards as I would as a magazine columnist. I should know better than to write based on a single source (in this is case a blogger who e-mailed me) whose reputation could not be independently verified.

In the past I have not posted any rumors of retractions. The truth will eventually come out, and I’m in no rush since I’m not selling newspapers or detergent ads. So if this report is true, then I’ll be able to report it to the community soon enough.

March 15, 2013

Open innovation as a subset of user innovation?

I was asked to mention on this blog a CFP by JET-M for a special issue on user innovation:
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management
Leveraging User Innovation: Managing the Creative Potential of Individual Consumers
Submission 1st February 2014

Guest Editors
Marcel Bogers, University of Southern Denmark
Ian P. McCarthy, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Leyland Pitt, Simon Fraser University, Canada

Users have long been identified as important sources of innovation (von Hippel, 1976; Lettl, 2007; Gales and Mansour-Cole, 1995). Research has focused on both intermediate users (e.g., user firms or B2B) and final consumer users (e.g., end users/communities or B2C) as sources of innovative products and services (Bogers et al., 2010). This special issue focuses on the different types of individuals or groups of individuals who undertake user innovation to produce new products and services (Berthon et al., 2007).

Recent research has highlighted the innovation potential of individual consumers who, in the UK, spend more time and money on innovation than all UK consumer product firms combined (von Hippel et al., 2012). Also, with the growing interest in open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003; Chesbrough et al., 2006), an increasing number of mechanisms, such as crowdsourcing (Poetz and Schreier, 2012) and social media (Kietzmann et al., 2011), exist to harness this potential. Such trends have major implications for innovation management education (Horwitch and Stohr, 2012) and thus offer numerous opportunities for interesting scholarly inquiry (see: West and Bogers, forthcoming).
Due to problems with the CFP, I was torn about whether or not to publicize it.

After doing a book chapter comparing UI to OI, this lists of topics seems much more about open innovation than about user innovation. Yes, von Hippel noted almost 40 years ago (in his first Research Policy article) about the importance of users as a source of ideas. And yes, crowdsourcing has attracted interest from both UI and OI scholars. But nowadays, UI (e.g. von Hippel, 2005; Baldwin & von Hippel, 2010) has been about empowering users to elaborate and disseminate their ideas — to address their own particularistic needs — not help “producers” continue a paradigm that deserves to be relegated to the ash heap of history.

Instead — Poetz & Schreier (2012) notwithstanding — the literature on harnessing the ideas of individuals to help firms has moved decisively into the OI camp. In part, it’s because of the inherently firm-centric nature of OI. But it’s also because many of the contributions (think Innocentive, or even Threadless) are from individuals who have insights beyond their own personal use benefits — which means they’re not user-innovators (in the traditional von Hippel sense) but they are individual-level external innovators (in the Chesbrough sense). I have sometimes seen UI explained as a subset of OI (not strictly true), but never have I seen OI claimed to be a subset of UI.

So given the topics, the editors want papers on open innovation, but say their special issue about user innovation.

Why the erroneous classification? Of the special issue editors, one is a well-cited UI scholar who recently has dabbled in OI. The other two editors don’t seem to have published on either topic.

Since I’ve publicized flawed CFPs before, I decided there was a precedent for both mentioning and correcting a CFP. (Of course, I realize this blog has readers who are more loyal to the UI “camp” than the OI “camp”.)

Still, the way to fix this would be for authors to submit papers that combine what UI tells us about generating ideas from “sticky information” with the OI “new paradigm” of how corporations utilize external information. Best case, maybe the guest editors would learn a thing or two about open innovation and not make the same mistake again.