In search of fresh ideas, firms increasingly engage with external contributors in open innovation collaborations. However, research has found that such collaborations frequently fail, and has pointed to conflicting demands of control and openness. On the one hand, firms want controlled and selective participation, clarity of purpose, and a choice of ideas based on their own current capacity and value appropriation strategies. On the other, their external contributors tend to want open and unfettered participation, the creative potential of the idea per se, and unrestricted knowledge sharing. This article proposes to shift the conceptual frame from looking at the tensions between control and openness as problems to looking at them as synergies. Drawing on the literature of open innovation and organizational paradox, this article contributes a novel perspective on open innovation that suggests how firms can leverage open innovation collaborations through paradox by combining practices based on differentiation and integration.
Lauritzen, G. D. and Karafyllia, M. (2019), Perspective: Leveraging Open Innovation through Paradox. J PROD INNOV MANAG, 36: 107-121. doi:10.1111/jpim.12474
Keywords: open innovation, research collaborations, openness and control in collaborations, collaborations with external contributors.
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