June 21, 2019

Research Opportunities for Network Forms of OI

At #RnDParis2019 Thursday, I gave a “master class” on the network forms of open innovation: alliances, communities, crowds, consortia, ecosystems and platforms. It was a standing room only session: it appears that there are a lot of innovation researchers (particularly those new in their careers) who want to learn more about this area and the research opportunities.

Interest in the network form of OI began with Wim Vanhaverbeke’s chapters in our 2006 book, Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm. I extended the idea with a chapter in our 2014 book, New Frontiers in Open Innovation. In several other papers (West et al 2006, 2014; West & Bogers, 2014), we noted the emphasis of OI research on dyadic collaboration between firms, and the dearth of research on OI in platforms, ecosystems, and so on.

There are many opportunities both for network research informed by OI, and using OI to inform one or more of the network forms of interorganizational cooperation.

My slides are up on Slideshare. I welcome any feedback or questions.


Joel West, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Henry Chesbrough, “Open Innovation: A Research Agenda,” in Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke and Joel West, eds., Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 285-307.

Joel West, Ammon Salter, Wim Vanhaverbeke, Henry Chesbrough, “Open innovation: The next decade,” Special Issue on Open Innovation: New Insights and Evidence, Research Policy, 43, 5 (June 2014): 805-811. DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.03.001

June 19, 2019

Reviewing research on 3D Printing

At #RnDParis2019 today, I presented an updated overview of the business and economic research on #3Dprinting — almost all in the past five years. The talk was part of two 3DP sessions within the 2019 R&D Management Conferece hosted by Thierry Rayna, Frank Piller & I. They were also the follow up to the 2019 3D printing workshop hosted at École Polytechnique and the 2014 workshop held at RWTH Aachen.
The talk covered these themes

  • History of 3D printing industry (from West & Kuk, 2016)
  • Some stats on management/business research on 3D printing
  • Ideas and suggestions on how 3D printing research could have more impact

My slides have been uploaded to SlideShare. The full list of references is found as a Google Doc here. Please send me any corrections (although I will filter the list for business/econ publications).

Existing Publications

Using SSCI business/management papers I found 82 papers that mention "3D printing" or "3D printers" in the topic. Interestingly, 30% of the SSCI citations are to the 17 papers in Technology Forecasting and Social Change, most to the January 2016 special issue on 3D printing. (I have the unviable claim to have published the least cited paper in the special issue — a case study on Makerbot).

Having a Greater Impact

Today I repeated a call I made at last year’s workshop. In it, I encouraged scholars — or at least those who need to make careers at status-conscious universities — to have more rigorous research that can be published in the top journals:

  • Strong empirics
  • Stronger theory, more general contribution
  • Get beyond the phenomenon

The latter point is to have an impact beyond 3D printing research. I cited two literatures where I’ve contributed (but much later than others) to finding implications beyond the industry and phenomenon:

  • Open source: Managing online communities; Coordinating, governing decentralized production; Fine-tuning degrees of openness
  • Crowdsourcing: Matching seekers/solvers; Motivating contributors; Optimizing collaboration models

How far has 3D printing come so far? In my database of 3D printing articles, I found 7 papers in either FT or near-FT journals:

  1. Ben-Ner & Siemsen, “Decentralization and Localization of Production: The Organizational and Economic Consequences of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing),” California Management Review, 2017
  2. Garmulewicz et al, “Disruptive Technology as an Enabler of the Circular Economy: What Potential Does 3D Printing Hold?” California Management Review, 2018
  3. Unruh, “Circular Economy, 3D Printing, and the Biosphere Rules,” California Management Review, 2018
  4. d’Aveni, “The 3-D printing revolution,” Harvard Business Review, 2015
  5. Rindfleisch et al, “The Digital Revolution, 3D Printing, and Innovation as Data,” Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2017
  6. Kyriakou et al, “Knowledge Reuse For Customization: Metamodels In An Open Design Community For 3D Printing,” MIS Quarterly, 2017
  7. Greul et al, “Open at birth? Why new firms do (or don't) use open innovation,” Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 2018

#1-5 are really about managerial implications of 3D printing: something of interest that needs to be published, but most will have limited influence beyond 3D printing.

#6 is about Thingiverse, and contributes to the literature on knowledge sharing and reuse in online communities (a recent topic of interest by MISQ).

#7 is the paper that I, Anne Greul and Simon Bock first presented at the 2014 workshop (where it was just a research plan with no data). It is about how startup companies use inbound open innovation to launch their firms, and how they practice selective revealing: the sample is of startup 3D printer manufacturers.

By comparison, the first special issue on open source (Research Policy June 2003) was about the phenomenon — with modest methods. The second special issue (Management Science July 2006) was about better methods and (in some cases) a more direct contribution to generalizable theory.

April 5, 2019

Special Issue: Emerging Technologies

Call for Papers
Special Issue of Organization Science: Emerging Technologies and Organizing
Special Issue Editors:

  • Diane Bailey, University of Texas at Austin School of Information
  • Samer Faraj, McGill University
  • Pamela Hinds, Stanford University
  • Georg von Krogh, ETH Zurich
  • Paul Leonardi, UC Santa Barbara

Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, robotics, digital platforms, social media, digital traces, blockchain, and 3D printing are increasingly reshaping human action and interaction in domains as varied as consumer credit-risk assessment, product design, platform work, healthcare diagnosis, hiring, predictive policing, custom manufacturing, automated fraud detection, consumer services, and surveillance. From organizational boundaries to employment relationships to individuals’ identification with organizations, these technologies are increasingly deployed in almost every process, form, and condition for organizing; their adoption and use are thereby calling into question our fundamental theories and ideas about organizations and organizing. This Special Issue seeks to advance scholarly understanding of how these theories and ideas need to evolve in the context of these new technologies.


  • April 1, 2019: Call announced
  • January 15, 2020: Submission
  • February 1, 2020: Initial screening decisions
  • April 1, 2020: First round of editorial decisions (reviews, desk rejects)
  • September 15, 2020: Resubmissions
  • November 15, 2020: Second round of editorial decisions (rejects, second review)
  • February 15, 2021: Final resubmission
  • April 1, 2021: Final decision or minor revisions handled by editors only
  • End of summer, 2021: Expected publication

Paper Development Activities
The topic of emerging technologies is rapidly building momentum in the scholarly community. Yet, recognizing the novelty of the phenomenon, the Special Issue (SI) editors plan to organize a series of meetings and a paper development workshop to help authors advance their work toward high-quality submissions. All of these events are optional. They include:

  • “Meet the SI Editors” session at the Conference on Organizing in the Era of Digital Technology, ETH Zurich Conference Facility at Monte Verita: June 12–15, 2019
  • “Meet the SI Editors” session at the Academy of Management: August 9–13, 2019
  • Paper Development Workshop, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA: October 10–11, 2019 (details to follow).

For the full CFP, see the Org Sci website.

January 7, 2019

Presenting and publishing OI research

Updated January 16

It’s a new year, and many OI scholars are preparing work for submitting to conferences, special issues and regular issues of journals. Since I didn’t blog a lot in 2018, I thought this would be a good time to share some thoughts about presenting and publishing OI research.

2019  Conferences

Most scholars know about the Academy annual meeting, which in 2019 is returning to Boston; in fact, many of us are already stressing about January 15 (full paper) deadline. While AOM is a big general management conference, OI has had a major presence within the TIM division since our first symposium in 2006. Other general conferences for OI research would include the Industry Studies Conference (abstract due January 11) and the DRUID summer conference (full paper due March 1).

However, three innovation conferences provide especially good venues for presenting and discussing OI research:
  • R&D Management (Paris, June 17-21). The R&D Management journal has been a particularly good outlet for OI research, publishing more OI research in the past 15 years than any other journal. At the RaDMa conference, one of the 12 tracks (“Theme 9”) is explicitly on Open Innovation. Abstract submissions open January 15; in previous years the deadline was February 15 but this year the deadline is March 1.
  • Open and User Innovation Conference (Utrecht, July 8-10). Although originally the “User Innovation Workshop,” regular readers know this was the first conference to solicit open innovation research, and that it provides a great community of innovation researchers who have been meeting annually since 2003. Although the CFP has not been posted yet, usually the abstract deadline is in late April. Update: the website is now up to date and the deadline is April 1.
  • World Open Innovation Conference (Rome, Dec. 12-13). Founded as a Bay Area conference in 2014 — and for the past two years at a SFO hotel — this will be the second time that WOIC will be held in Europe. Since everyone there is interested in OI, it’s been a particularly fertile venue for open innovation discussions; I personally have found the poster session the best presentation outlet out there. The abstract deadline is usually August 15.


Several of my own publications in the past 5 years have been related to special issues aligned with OI and particularly WOIC. This includes
  • co-editing the April 2016 special section of Industrial and Corporate Change from WOIC 2014
  • informally helping on the Winter 2018 special section of California Management Review from WOIC 2015, and 
  • recently getting a paper accepted for the forthcoming special issue of R&D Management that included papers from WOIC 2016. 
Unrelated to WOIC, in 2018 I also had another paper accepted in a different forthcoming special issue of RaDMa (on open social innovation), and a paper published last September in the first-ever Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal special issue on Open Innovation.

Yesterday, I got an email about a new OI special issue from the prominent OI scholar (and my longtime friend) Wim Vanhaverbeke, when Wim emailed a thousand of his closest friends with the CFP for a special issue on OI for Industrial Marketing Management. This is a journal that I would personally endorse: I spent my first 5 years as in the PhD program as a marketing major, and at that point, IMM — the leading specialty journal for business-to-business marketing — was one of the journals that I expected to regularly target. (However, since my research interests only loosely fit marketing, I switched to strategy and later entrepreneurship).

Here are highlights from the Vanhaverbeke et al call for papers:
Managing Open Innovation in Business-to-Business Relationships: A Project-Level Approach
Guest editors: Stefan Markovic (Copenhagen Business School), Mehdi Bagherzadeh (NEOMA Business School), Wim Vanhaverbeke (Hasselt University), Marcel Bogers (University of Copenhagen)
Deadline for submission: July 1st 2019

Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be about 6,000-8,000 words in length. 
The full CFP is available at the IMM website.