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Clusters and communities: raising the bar towards open innovation 2.0 paradigms

Oscar Tamburis (Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)
Isabella Bonacci (Department of Economics, Management and Institutions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 8 July 2019

Issue publication date: 12 August 2019




The growing success of open innovation practices in many firms raises the question of whether such principles can be transferred for reinventing public sector organisations. A paradigm based on principles of integrated collaboration, co-created shared value, cultivated innovation ecosystems, unleashed exponential technologies and extraordinarily rapid adoption is the so-called Open Innovation 2.0. The development of this approach reflects the perception that the innovation process has evolved. This study aims to explore new ways to study healthcare networks as key tool for innovation creation and spreading, by deploying the emergent paradigm of Open Innovation 2.0.


The study investigates the impact of clusters, or localised networks, involving industrial, academic and institutional players, in the (bio)pharmaceutical setting; the aim is to enrich the line of inquiry into cluster-based innovation by applying a social network analysis (SNA) methodology, with the aim to provide new perspectives for recognising how the set of interactions and relationships in the (bio)pharmaceutical context can lead to higher levels of knowledge transfer, organisational learning and innovation spreading.


Starting from the top ten (bio)pharmaceutical companies, and the top ten contract research organisations (CROs), the study helps understand that: the combination of the single big pharma company and the CROs to which great part of the work is externalised, can be compared to a community of transaction that deals with the supply and demand of a specific kind of goods and services; clusters can comprise either a single one or more communities of transaction; virtual CROs act as a community whose all components participate to the creation of value (co-creation), thus comparable to a certain extent to a community of fantasy.


Based on the novelty of the OI2/SNA combination approach to deal with the “complex” (bio)pharmaceutical industry, the outcomes of the present study mean to highlight: a comprehensive perspective for understanding the dynamics of modularity and their implications for innovation networks; the presence of innovation networks as main mean to promote and support paths of knowledge creation and transfer.



Tamburis, O. and Bonacci, I. (2019), "Clusters and communities: raising the bar towards open innovation 2.0 paradigms", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 288-305.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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