Benefiting from External Knowledge in Open Innovation Processes

Benefiting from External Knowledge in Open Innovation Processes

Paul Kruse (Dresden University of Technology & KRC - Knowledge Research Center, e.V., Dresden, Germany) and Peter Geißler (Communardo Software GmbH & KRC - Knowledge Research Center, e.V., Dresden, Germany)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/jkss.2012100102
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Abstract

The importance of knowledge management for organizations has been widely discussed in recent years. Today, only few firms can sustain their competitiveness and innovativeness by focusing exclusively on internal knowledge sources. Managing highly specific knowledge from customers, technologies, markets, etc. is now a key to innovation. However, integrating external knowledge to foster innovation faces companies with a number of challenges. This study examines the role of external knowledge in the field of open innovation. By carrying out a systematic literature review the author develops eight categories with 19 sub-categories of potential external knowledge sources. A systematization of the identified sources investigates assets and drawbacks that can be associated with the integration of such knowledge. Thereby, the article shows that research on open innovation is highly concerned about the role of external knowledge, but mainly focuses on just a few categories and tends to neglect positive and/or negative influences on competitiveness and innovativeness.
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External Knowledge

Current research already highlights the value of EK (Bergman, Jantunen, & Saksa, 2009). Research on user in-novation (von Hippel, 1986), collective invention (Allen, 1983), or interactive value creation (Reichwald & Piller, 2006) are just a few examples to be named. Many of these studies focus on certain bearers of knowledge (e.g., Ahrweiler, Pyka, & Gilbert, 2011; Bogers, 2011; Kang & Kang, 2009; Tether & Tajar, 2008), branches (e.g., Hughes & Wareham, 2010; Lorentzen, 2005; Rohrbeck, 2010), company types (e.g., Laursen & Salter, 2006; Roberts, 2010; van Gils, Vissers, & de Wit, 2009), regions (e.g., Cantner, Joel, & Schmidt, 2009; Huggins & Johnston, 2009; Love, Roper, & Bryson, 2011), company sizes (e.g., Fletcher & Harris, 2011; Huggins & Johnston, 2009; Lichtenthaler & Ernst, 2007) or a combination of two or more categories mentioned above.

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