Diffusion of open innovation practices in Danish SMEs

Lars Esbjerg, Mette Præst Knudsen, Helle Alsted Søndergaard


Within a short timeframe, the notion of open innovation has been established as an important, if also contentious, topic for both researchers and practitioners. Thus some observers have suggested that open innovation is the next big thing in innovation, while others argue that it is merely old wine in new bottles. This paper investigates the extent and diffusion of open innovation practices in small and medium-sized Danish manufacturing firms, while hinting at some relations with innovative performance. Both quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data are used for analysing the extent of open innovation in Danish SME’s. The paper finds that many firms are rather narrow in their adoption of open innovation whether defined as relationships or as open innovation practices. However, the paper also finds that there is a complementarity effect rather than a crowding out effect of utilising both interorganizational relationships and open innovation practices. The paper discusses these stimulating findings in the conclusion.

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