Business models and open innovation
Business models and open innovation: background Companies realize different outcomes from open innovation. Three possible reasons emerge from extant open innovation literature. One research stream ascribes the inter-company performance heterogeneity to differences in open innovation strategies. Here, studies assume a main effect relationship between the degree of openness (commonly measured by the breadth and depth of knowledge search) and innovative performance (e.g., Fey & Birkinshaw, 2005; Laursen & Salter, 2006; Leiponen & Helfat, 2010; Oerlemans & Knoben, 2010). Such effects may correspond to actual practice; for example, the more a company’s R&D personnel directly interact with external knowledge sources, the more innovation may happen as a result.
However, as in actuality this is usually somehow mediated or moderated by, for example, organizational practices, a second research stream investigates the moderating or mediating variables between open innovation and performance. Here, studies (implicitly) assume that open innovation strategies are fairly similar, but that companies adopt different organizational designs, some of which are mismatched with the open innovation strategy, leading to performance differentials (e.g., Foss et al., 2011; Hienerth et al., 2011; Salge et al., 2012). Integrating these two perspectives, a third possible reason for performance differentials may stem from the fact that open innovation strategies are in fact different and thus are aligned with different business models. As companies are not equally good at matching open innovation strategies to business models, this can result in performance differentials.
Reviewing both the literatures on business models and open innovation clearly indicates that companies can choose from an array of different business models and different open innovation strategies. Thus, the match between open innovation strategy and business model is likely to be an important antecedent to open innovation performance.
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