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The impact of outside‐in open innovation on innovation performance

Matthias Inauen (Institute of Business Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)
Andrea Schenker‐Wicki (Institute of Business Economics, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN: 1460-1060

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of an open outside‐in innovation management strategy on companies' innovativeness and innovation performance. Specifically, it focuses on the adoption of the open innovation paradigm in practice and the extent of collaboration with different stakeholders.


The proposed hypotheses are tested empirically using survey data collected from stock‐listed companies in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. The data include the complete responses from 141 R&D managers for the period from 2004 to 2008.


The openness of the outside‐in process in R&D management is of crucial importance for achieving high direct and indirect innovation output effects. In particular, openness towards customers, suppliers and universities has a significant positive impact on the different innovation performance measures. Regarding openness towards cross‐sector companies, the analysis reveals a significant negative effect on innovation performance.

Research limitations/implications

The utilization of cross‐sectional data and its dependency on the perceptions and experiences of the respondents has its limitations. Thus, future research should be based on a more longitudinal design that emphasizes quantitative measurement techniques.


To date, the adoption of open innovation in practice has not been examined in depth. This study provides empirical insights into the open innovation approaches in German‐speaking countries and, by drawing important conclusions for managers involved in the R&D processes, fills a gap in the innovation management literature.



Inauen, M. and Schenker‐Wicki, A. (2011), "The impact of outside‐in open innovation on innovation performance", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 14 No. 4, pp. 496-520.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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