The purpose of this paper is to understand the strategic intent and consequent organisation of innovation summits. Innovation summits have recently appeared in practice as a new approach by which firms strategically market and further their open innovation agendas both internally and externally.
To advance the knowledge of this novel phenomenon, which has not yet been described in theory, a qualitative research design is appropriate. Consequently, this research conducts comparative case studies of four leading companies.
The paper contributes knowledge on how innovation summits can be designed and used as a strategic marketing approach to mobilise and match key people for open innovation. The authors find that the strategic scope and cognitive distance of invited firms are critical dimensions in characterising distinct types of innovation summits and propose a classification scheme for understanding different types of summits.
For practitioners, the authors present two central questions to consider before staging a summit: what is the strategic scope and who should be involved? This classification scheme offers managers an understanding of the implications of these choices.
While much research takes a macro-perspective on open innovation, much less is known about the micro-level of bringing parties together. In practise, the concept of innovation summits has gained a significant interest; however, the concept is still relatively unknown in the literature. This paper is one of the first to advance knowledge of this novel phenomenon.
The authors would like to thank the Danish Industry Foundation (Industriens Fond) for financial support. Moreover, the authors wish to thank Graham Cross, Anette Svendsen, Thomas Nagy, Ellen Bark and Gaute Munch for their interest and contribution to this research.
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