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Industrial Knowledge Bases as Drivers of Open Innovation?

Heidi Aslesen () and Mark Freel

Industry and Innovation, 2012, vol. 19, issue 7, 563-584

Abstract: The article presents an analysis of a large-scale survey with the aim of understanding differences in the open, interactive and distributed nature of external innovation relations amongst firms belonging to different industrial knowledge bases. The thesis is that the source of critical innovation relevant knowledge differs between industrial knowledge bases, making the character and the need of openness contingent on these specificities. Accordingly, we anticipate that we will observe systematic variations in how industries access and combine innovation-related external knowledge. In our analyses we attempt to address a gap in the literature by examining how industrial knowledge bases affect the recombination of knowledge by analysing the different extents, forms (formal and informal) and geography of inbound open innovation. The article illustrates that features and structures of inbound open innovation align, to a large extent, with the industries' knowledge bases and that there is a interplay between an industry's knowledge base, the internal organisation of innovation processes and the channels and geography of inbound open innovation.

Date: 2012
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