Open service innovation and the firm's search for external knowledge

Mina, A. and Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E. and Hughes, A. (2014) Open service innovation and the firm's search for external knowledge. Research Policy, 43 (5). pp. 853-866. ISSN 0048-7333

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The concept of open innovation captures the increasing propensity of firms to work across their traditional boundaries of operation. This phenomenon has largely been studied from the viewpoint of manufacturing businesses while services have received much less attention despite the predominant role they play in advanced economies. This paper focuses on open innovation in services, both as a subsector of the economy and as a component of the activities of manufacturing firms. We study the open innovation practices of business services firms and then consider the implications for open innovation of the adoption of a service inclusive business model by manufacturing firms. Our analyses are based on a unique dataset with information on open innovation activities amongst UK firms. Overall, engagement in open innovation increases with firm size and R&D expenditure. Business services are more active open innovators than manufacturers; they are more engaged in informal relative to formal open innovation practices than manufacturers; and they attach more importance to scientific and technical knowledge than to market knowledge compared to manufacturing firms. Open innovation practices are also associated with the adoption of a service inclusive business model in manufacturing firms and service-integrated manufacturers engage in more informal knowledge-exchange activities. The paper contributes towards a reconceptualisation of open innovation in service businesses and a deeper evidence-based understanding of the service economy.

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Journal Article
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Research Policy
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05 Dec 2018 15:22
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 06:45