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Open innovation modes and the role of internal R&D: An empirical study on open innovation adoption in Europe

Alexander Schroll (Institute for Production Management, WU Vienna, Vienna, Austria)
Andreas Mild (Institute for Production Management, WU Vienna, Vienna, Austria)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how and how much open innovation is used across Europe. The goal of this study is therefore to provide comprehensive empirical evidence for the adoption of inbound and outbound open innovation activities in Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from 180 European companies were used to test three hypotheses on open innovation adoption and the role of internal R&D. Data were collected in 2009 and the sample comprises companies from different industries and 24 European countries.

Findings

It is found that 30.3 per cent of European companies are very open to innovation and 38.7 per cent are semi‐open. The results show that inbound open innovation is more commonly used than outbound open innovation, which can be explained by insufficiencies of the market or the organization. Finally, it is found that the type of innovation strategy (vertically integrated, inbound, outbound, or mixed) is related to the R&D intensity.

Originality/value

This paper provides large‐scale empirical evidence for the extent of open innovation adoption in Europe. Moreover, it confirms the role of open innovation generally as a complement for internal R&D. However, results show that firms can reduce R&D intensity through inbound open innovation.

Keywords

Citation

Schroll, A. and Mild, A. (2011), "Open innovation modes and the role of internal R&D: An empirical study on open innovation adoption in Europe", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 475-495. https://doi.org/10.1108/14601061111174925

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited