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Social media: open innovation in SMEs finds new support

Emma L. Hitchen (Faculty of Business and Communication, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Vic, Spain)
Petra A. Nylund (Faculty of Business and Communication, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Vic, Spain)
Xavier Ferràs (Faculty of Business and Communication, University of Vic – Central University of Catalonia, Vic, Spain)
Sergi Mussons (Aurea Productiva, Vic, Spain)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The exchange of knowledge in social networks is fundamental to innovation. Open, interactive, innovation requires collaboration through social networks. This social networking is increasingly carried out across the Internet through social media applications. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of social media in open innovation, and explain how this practice is carried out in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). With less resources than large firms, SMEs both have a greater need for open innovation and a less resources to invest in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors study the case of open innovation in start-up Aurea Productiva and induce a framework for open innovation in SMEs powered by social media.

Findings

The authors explore how the main advantages of the Web 2.0 translate into opportunities, challenges and strategies for open innovation that can be directly applied by managers.

Research limitations/implications

The authors contribute to research on open innovation by social media and to research on the innovation process of SMEs. Future quantitative research could confirm and extend the authors’ findings.

Practical implications

Companies that want to fully exploit the benefits of social media can create a strategy that emphasizes coevolution of innovation and resources, sharing their vision and objectives and providing a framework for innovation.

Originality/value

The authors introduce an original analysis of opportunities, challenges and strategies for open innovation in SMEs.

Keywords

Citation

Hitchen, E.L., Nylund, P.A., Ferràs, X. and Mussons, S. (2017), "Social media: open innovation in SMEs finds new support", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 21-29. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBS-02-2016-0015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited