This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Open Innovation Strategies: Methods, Tools, and Measurements

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Strategy and Management


Dr. Hagen Habicht, HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Center for Leading Innovation and
Cooperation (CLIC), Germany, [email protected]
Dr. Nizar Abdelkafi, Fraunhofer MOEZ and University of Leipzig, Department of Innovation Management
and Innovation Economics, Germany, [email protected]

Topic Introduction:

During the previous years, the interest of academia and practice in open innovation has been growing continuously. Following an open innovation strategy, companies transfer knowledge they cannot leverage internally to the outside for exploitation and use the knowledge produced externally to advance their technologies and to generate innovations internally. There is compelling evidence that a respectable number of companies have been practicing such innovation‐centered strategies. For many companies, however, the journey of open innovation remains difficult. With this special issue, we call for original papers which address facets of this new strategic paradigm. In particular, we look for new methods, tools, and measurments that can support companies in order to achieve big success with open innovation. The pressing research questions are related, among others, to the competencies that firms require to become successful open innovators, the development of adequate strategies for managing intellectual property in open innovation, and the measurement of open innovation success. Especially, in the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and service companies, these issues are lacking research work.

Activities such as internal and external knowledge exploitation and exploration call for different organizational capabilities (Enkel et al. 2009; Lichtenthaler 2011). Hence, it seems important to better understand how organizations become successful open innovators. Many authors have investigated the relation of corporate competences and innovation (Danneels 2002). On the one hand, broad “inventories of competencies” (Levinthal & March, 1993, p. 103) support innovative efforts in terms of opportunity recognition and exploitation. On the other hand, substantial commitment to innovation may support the development of new competences (Bakker et al. 1994; Dombrowski et al. 2007; Vanhaverbeke & Peeters 2005). However, the path of competence development as the interplay of pivotal actors, crucial activities and central resources has largely remaind a black box.

So far, open innovation, has been studied extensively in the context of big manufacturing firms. But academia paid little attention to open innovation in SMEs (van de Vrande et al. 2009). Especially for this type of firms, which make up the most imporant percentage of firms in developed countries, open innovation is a difficult issue. SMEs lack resources and may find it difficult to make technological acquisitions from the outside. In addition, SMEs do not have a well‐diversified portfolio of technologies and rely mostly on a few technologies. Consequently, letting their technologies and knowledge flow to the outside can endanger their competitive positions. Furthermore, the potential of open innovation has been neglected in the service sector, though services currently generate more than 70% of GDP in most of all developed countries. In attempt to fill this gap, (Chesbrough 2011), in his book on open services innovation, shows the potential of openness in generating new and highly competitive services. This field of research is particularly important because of the relevance of the service sector in generating value and the potential of openness to accelerate the pace of service innovation. Since services are very human resource‐intensive, the human resource management topic is even more important in open service innovation. In particular, researchers should investigate how organizations can make people at the front office become an effective source for innovations. The front office employees are in a continuous dialog with their customers, and therefore they should be trained and managed appropriately, so as to capture the customers’ requirements that lead to the development of innovative services. In addition, the employees in the back office may require additional training with respect to open innovation, as they do not interact with end customers, but with other partners, which can also be valuable sources for innovations.

Open innovation poses many challenges on intellectual properties (IPs). In particular, in the context of open source innovation and open design, research on IP is still in its infancy. For instance, it is not clear under which IP conditions should firms open their designs to the external world? By opening their designs, firms can attract physically distributed developers, who can advance the firm’s products and technologies. But, this can encourage free riders, in particular competitors, to imitate the innovation, or to combine it with other technologies and then distribute it, as it were a proprietary innovation. There are many other thinkable situations that illustrate IP concerns and difficulties due to open innovation.

Last, open innovation is not an end in itself, it is a means to increase the company’s innovativeness and performance. But the relationship between open innovation and financial performance is unclear. “It is difficult to find evidence that the benefits of open innovation outweigh its costs” (Lindegaard 2010, p. 7). To capture the returns of open innovation, new measurement scales are required. Furthermore, more empirical research is needed to identify the costs of open innovation (Huizingh 2011).

Therefore, submitted papers can focus on, without being limited to, the following topics:

  • Development, selection, and implementation of open innovation strategies
  • Tools and methods for open innovation
  • Managing and measuring competence development for open innovation
  • Change agents for open innovation
  • Open source innovation in software and physical products
  • Open innovation in the service sector, higher education institutions
  • Open innovation and solutions to IP issues
  • Innovation contests and tournaments
  • User‐driven innovation and crowdsourcing
  • Open innovation readiness and methods for Costs‐Benefit Analysis
  • Scales and instruments for the measurement of open innovation benefits
  • The limits of open innovation
  • Beyond open innovation: What’s the next paradigm in innovation?

Fit to the Journal of Strategy and Management

The proposed call for papers covers many strategic aspacts that the Journal of Strategy and Management is looking for. It anchors these issues in the of open innovation. Henry Chesbrough, who made this term popular, believes open innovation to be the upcoming strategic paradigm for successful organizations (Chesbrough et al. 2006). With the proposed call for papers, we ask for original contributions on numerous strategic questions with respect to formulation and implementation of open innovation. Furthermore, a quick web search shows that the term “open innovation” is not entirely new to the Journal of Strategy and Management. However, although it yields 48 hits, most of them are not touching this subject with a specific focus on strategic issues, with a specific focus on methods, measurements and tools. One interesting observation that underlines the relevance of the topic is that five of them are or are mainly based on interviews with thought leaders from practice and academia.

Process of quality control

Visibility of the call:

We will make sure that the call receives great visibility among innovation and strategy scholars worldwide. In particular, we propose to make the call public within the European Academy of Management (EURAM) in general and in particular within the general track on open innovation at the upcoming annual EURAM Conference 2014. The track on open innovation is among the most successful tracks of this conference. Last year it attracted about 30 contributions.

In technical terms, the call for papers will be posted on the EURAM web presence as well as on all communication media used by its innovation management group (SIG Innovation), which is the second largest group of researchers within EURAM. In addition to papers submitted to the EURAM conference, papers presented at other innovation management conferences (e.g. IPDMC, ISPIM) will also be considered for publication in this specal issue.

Quality management process:

We will ensure top quality of published works by following at least two steps of selection and improvement.

As part of the internal rules of EURAM, track chairs are obliged to organize a double blind review process with two independent reviewers for every submission. All contributions accepted by the reviewers will be invited to present their work at the conference. Based on the initial reviews as well as on the presentations, we will invite the best 10 contributions to revise and extend their papers, and to re‐submit them for the special issue.

We will perform a second double blind review process with the 10 SI‐submissions which complies with the criteria of JSM. In total, at least two reviews will be conducted for the papers submitted to EURAM; the first in order to get accepted for the conference and the second for the journal. Some papers may need a third revision, and therefore a third revew can be necessary. For the papers not submitted to EURAM, the guest editors of the specia issue will conduct a preselection of the papers. Those with high potential will go through the mentioned two‐step review; the others will be rejected.

We strive for putting together a specia issue, which consits of 6 to 8 high quality papers, which advance research in the area of open innovation as a new strategic paradigm with the focus on open innovation tools, methods, and measurements.

Anticipated Deadlines

Submission Deadline: August 31, 2014
First-round decisions: December 15, 2014
Submission Deadline for invited revisions: March 1, 2015
Final Decisions: June 30, 2015
Publication of Special Issue: September, 2015



Bakker, H., Jones, W. & Nichols, M., 1994. Using core competences to develop new business. Long Range Planning, 27(6), pp.13–27.

Chesbrough, H.W., 2011. Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New Era, San Fransisco, CA: Jossey‐Bass.

Chesbrough, H.W., Vanhaverbeke, W. & West, J., 2006. Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, H. W. Chesbrough, W. Vanhaverbeke, & J. West, eds., Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Danneels, E., 2002. The dynamics of product innovation and firm competences. Strategic Management Journal, 23(12), pp.1095–1121.

Dombrowski, C. et al., 2007. Elements of Innovative Cultures. Knowledge and Process Management, 14(3), pp.190–202.

Enkel, E., Gassmann, O. & Chesbrough, H.W., 2009. Open R&D and open innovation: exploring the phenomenon. R&D Management, 39(4), pp.311–316.

Huizingh, E.K.R.E., 2011. Open innovation: State of the art and future perspectives. Technovation, 31(1), pp.2–9.

Levinthal, D.A. & March, J.G., 1993. The Myopia of Learning. Strategic Management Journal, 14 (Special Issue), pp.95–112.

Lichtenthaler, U., 2011. Open Innovation: Past Research, Current Debates, and Future Directions. ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVES, (February), pp.75–94.

Lindegaard, Stefan (2010): The Open Innovation Revolution: Essentials, Roadblocks, and Leadership Skills. Hoboken (NJ), John Whiley & Sons.

Vanhaverbeke, W. & Peeters, N., 2005. Embracing innovation as strategy: corporate venturing, competence building and corporate strategy making. Creativity and Innovation Management, 14(3), pp.246–257.

Van de Vrande, V. et al., 2009. Open innovation in SMEs: Trends, motives and management challenges. Technovation, 29(6‐7), pp.423–437.