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How Open Innovation Practices Deliver Societal Benefits

Elisabeth Eppinger ()
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Elisabeth Eppinger: Faculty 5—Design and Culture, Campus Wilhelminenhof, University of Applied Sciences for Technology and Economics Berlin, 12459 Berlin, Germany

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 3, 1-19

Abstract: Open innovation practices have the potential to benefit society greatly. Bridging the research on open innovation, diffusion of innovation and responsible innovation, this study investigates how open innovation practices can foster societal benefits. Elaborating on potential benefit gaps and detrimental effects of innovation, the study proposes six distinct innovation attributes to deliver societal benefits: (I) adequate information and communication channels, (II) affordability, (III) appropriateness and availability, (IV) anticipation in terms of appropriate and reflexive risk assessment, (V) accountability in terms of adequate cost allocation of detrimental side effects, and (VI) sustainable path creation for transitions towards societal and environmental sustainability. Ten different open innovation practices are assessed drawing on our own and other published empirical insights. This assessment provides insights into which features of the practices support social benefits. Based on this assessment, we propose a typology of three different practices in relation to societal benefits and discuss how they address the six innovation attributes. Providing rich insights into which practices deliver societal benefits through which features, this study makes a significant contribution to existing research on open innovation, responsible innovation, inclusive and social innovation. Some practical implications and directions for further research are provided.

Keywords: diffusion of innovation; inclusive innovation; open innovation; responsible innovation; social benefit; social sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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