The Act of Giving & Receiving : A study of the social context in collaborations
Abstract: For the past decades, more and more organisations have started to recognise that they can apply open innovation (OI), the process in which an organisation shares knowledge, experiences and ideas with external parties. When applying OI, organisations can face problems in letting ideas flow throughout their complex networks and thus unconsciously restrict their innovation process. They can be unaware that certain key behavioural roles can enable ideas to flow better and thus unrestrain the innovation process. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the challenges and success factors that organisations should be aware of when applying open innovation as well as to investigate and analyse the existing key networks and key behavioural roles of organisations that apply open innovation. The findings were obtained through qualitative and semi-structured interviews with: five expert organisations in OI (the prestudy) and eight companies that apply OI (the case study). The study was delimited to collaborations of large and established companies. The findings show that having management commitment and creating an open culture are both challenges and success factors when applying OI. Other success factors are finding the right partner, having trust and transparency and aiming for the win-win concept. Organisations have an internal-, external- and absorbent network, out of which the external is the most emphasised and the internal one is easily overlooked. It is in the absorbent network where different people meet to absorb and develop potential ideas. The key behavioural roles needed in the absorbent network are the broker, team creator, supporter, energiser and challenger.
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