Relevant factors in the implementation of open innovation practices: Application to the case of SMEs in the automotive
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Rodriguez Ferradas, María Isabel. ""Relevant factors in the implementation of open innovation practices: Application to the case of SMEs in the automotive"".Alfaro, José Antonio, Sandulli, Francesco. Tesis doctoral. Universidad de Navarra. 2014
The research field of Open Innovation (OI) has grown exponentially since Chesbrough coined the term in 2003. But after more than a decade of research, some essential areas of research in the OI literature, such as OI practices and the context factors relevant to their implementation, are still fragmented and uncompleted, as noted in the reviews of the OI literature in recent years. In this thesis, I aim to enrich the literature on OI by analysing two specific issues: taxonomy of OI practices; and identifying the relevant context factors that most influence in the implementation of OI practices. Accordingly, the first objective of this research is to conduct a comprehensive literature review of OI practices, which is necessary in order to clarify the concept and propose more precise terminology. This review includes the identification of the different typologies of OI practices defined in the literature and the dimensions used by authors to describe these practices. Secondly, we propose the identification, also based on the literature review methodology, of the internal and external factors that influence the implementation of these practices and the analysis of their relation with each OI practice typology. Then, according to the conclusions of the literature review, we propose a theoretical framework for establishing relations among different typologies of OI practices and the internal and external factors (firm-specific and contextual) relevant for their implementation. The empirical work of this thesis consists of an experimental contrast of the proposed theoretical framework, particularized for OI practices in SMEs in the automotive industry. This empirical work includes two steps, the first is a multiple case study of SMEs in the automotive sector and the second one is a retrospective case study of an SME from the automotive sector that has successfully implemented OI practices over a long period of time. From the academic point of view, this thesis contributes to the OI literature with two main results. The first one is a classification of OI practices typologies, according to their main dimensions, which helps to establish a taxonomy in this research stream. The second one is a theoretical framework for establishing relations among different typologies of OI practices and context factors. From the managerial point of view, the empirical research developed in this thesis, also yields some interesting results. In relation to OI practices typologies, we have shown that the studied SMEs have implemented the following OI practices typologies, which are identified in the theoretical framework: Innovation contest, Inward licensing of IP, Joined development, Joint venture, Lead user method, Outsourcing R&D, Outwards licensing of IP and Regional innovation clusters. Moreover, some specific typologies of these practices are more commonly used by the SMEs from the sample, such as Joined development. When using the theoretical framework developed in the theoretical section to look for relations between the implementation of the OI practices and the context factors, some interesting contributions arise from the multiple case study in relation to the relevance of specific context factors. We identify some relevant factors, from the internal and external contexts that facilitate OI practices implementation, such as absorptive capacity, IP management, Corporate culture, Technological turbulence, Proximities and Intermediaries, along with one factor from the internal context that hinders, namely Ambidexterity. Furthermore, the retrospective case study provides experimental evidence for the substitution effect between the absorptive capacity internal factor and the Intermediaries external factor when implementing a specific OI practice, Innovation contest. This contribution opens up an interesting stream for research and also for application issues. This contribution is a significant advance in the state of the art of current research in the field of OI, not only in general but also, particularly in OI in SMEs. Finally our work is a door to open future research directions in the OI field that, if based in the proposed theoretical framework, could contribute to the strengthening of the theoretical foundations of this innovation management paradigm.
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