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Integration and Selectivity in Open Innovation:An Empirical Analysis in SMEs

Authors: Chiara Verbano, Maria Crema, Karen Venturini


The company-s ability to draw on a range of external sources to meet their needs for innovation, has been termed 'open innovation' (OI). Very few empirical analyses have been conducted on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to the extent that they describe and understand the characteristics and implications of this new paradigm. The study's objective is to identify and characterize different modes of OI, (considering innovation process phases and the variety and breadth of the collaboration), determinants, barriers and motivations in SMEs. Therefore a survey was carried out among Italian manufacturing firms and a database of 105 companies was obtained. With regard to data elaboration, a factorial and cluster analysis has been conducted and three different OI modes have emerged: selective low open, unselective open upstream, and mid- partners integrated open. The different behaviours of the three clusters in terms of determinants factors, performance, firm-s technology intensity, barriers and motivations have been analyzed and discussed.

Keywords: open innovation, SMEs, R&D management

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