December 5, 2014

WOIC: Day 1

On Thursday, open innovation scholars enjoyed a very exuberant 1st day at the 1st annual World Open Innovation Conference in Napa.

As the day began, the audience received their own copy of the brand new — fresh off the pressesNew Frontiers in Open Innovation. (An $81 value!)

Chesbrough Keynote
The conference opened with Henry Chesbrough , summarizing the evolution of the OI concept from his 2003 book. He noted that when the book came out in April 2003, a google of "open innovation” produced 200 hits; exactly 10 years later, it was 450 million.

Henry Chesbrough listing 8 new aspects of
open innovation from Chesbrough (2006)
He also addressed some of the criticism of OI, including the "old wine in new bottles" one. One of his most photographed slides listed the 8 points of how OI is different from his (oft-cited) Chapter 1 of the 2006 book.

He offered 6 suggested areas for future research
  1. Clarity of definitions.
  2. Microfoundations
  3. Failure cases and boundary conditions — a call Henry has made for years, and continues to make every year at the ESADE PhD seminar
  4. Inside out (inbound) mode: too much of the front end, not enough of the back end (as Marcel Bogers and I documented in our 2014 JPIM article)
  5. Outside in (outbound) mode — which is both less practiced and (as documented in Bogers & West 2014) less studied.
  6. Rigorous evidence of performance impacts, which to date has included the Du et al paper from the 2014 special issue and the many CIS papers starting with the oft-cited Laursen & Salter (2006)
David Teece
Chesbrough next introduced David Teece, author of two seminal articles related to innovation strategy: Teece (1986) — profiting from innovation — and Teece et al (1997) — dynamic capabilities.

David Teece
He discussed how open innovation relates to dynamic capabilities. Both are in contrast to the Porter IO-derived model of resource control where successful firms try to have everything inside the boundaries of the firm. Today, firms need to have dynamic capabilities to combat the “red queen effect” — a concept of Lewis Carroll which Wikipedia helpfully notes is
"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"
He sees OI as tied to the sensing, seizing and transforming framework of dynamic capabilities.

Open Oenology
Sohyeong Kim (a postdoc at Berkeley with Henry) led a session on “open oenology,” where the audience broke into groups to brainstorm solutions to improve the future revenue streams of the wine industry. Some of the ideas were a little wacky — vitamin-infused wine — but it seemed as though people were having fun coming up with innovative ideas.

A Research Agenda
I closed the plenary with a brief talk entitled “Open Innovation: A Research Agenda”. After recounting the (somewhat influential) research agenda that concluded our 2006 book, I adapted my blog post from last month to offer 6 areas of future research:
  1. Levels of Analysis beyond the two-firm dyad — as with the ecosystem session
  2. More on integrating inbound OI (from West & Bogers 2014)
  3. Better measurement — well evidenced here at the conference
  4. Tie to extant theory — covered by a session in the early afternoon (“Determinants of Open Innovation”)
  5. Nonpecuniary motivations — inspired by Dahlander & Gann (2010), but currently being pushed by Alberto Di Minin
  6. Role of Appropriability — something I argued for in my 2006 chapter and was well represented in both the 2014 special issue and Thursday’s session on IP & Appropriability
As promised, the slides have been uploaded to SlideShare.

After that plenary, we had a great session of 11 posters over wine (and a little bit of beer). The discussions seemed quite lively — even before the attendees had earned their drink tickets by providing feedback — but the discussion level rose by 5-6 decibels after everyone had a drink in their hand.
Adrian Kovacs summarizes his paper during the poster session  
I am hoping to upload all the photos (as I did at the London 2012 conference), but right now the Picasa client is not cooperating so I will need to spend more time figuring out a workaround to Google’s attempts at lock-in.

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