The purpose of this paper is to inquire how large multinational firms can develop and implement knowledge-sharing measures that move their corporate strategy towards the open innovation paradigm, since open innovation becomes increasingly important as source for competitive advantage.
We review the literature on open innovation and combine it with a single case study of one multinational firm that is gradually implementing its open innovation strategy. We pay special attention to the development and usage of a collaborative IS infrastructure that is deployed to create a culture of openness and to support knowledge networking amongst the workforce.
The in-depth case study demonstrates that managers have to balance a complex interplay of human and IT components to make open innovation happen. Measures taken to foster openness and knowledge exchange inside the firm include developing managerial innovation capabilities, creating communities and networks around strategic topics and leveraging the adoption of the collaborative IS infrastructure through piloting use of cases in innovation projects.
The findings of this case study remain limited to the characteristics of large firms in multinational markets.
This article offers valuable insights for corporate strategists, IT specialists and change managers who want to open up corporate innovation. We present a range of institutional measures that help to overcome silo mentalities and knowledge-sharing barriers and establish an open innovation culture within large firms operating in multinational markets.
Complementing previous research, this article highlights how large firms can use a combination of strategic, cultural and technological measures to bring open innovation from strategic vision to organisation-wide reality. We identify in addition factors which either inhibit or foster the implementation of knowledge sharing and open innovation practices inside large firms.
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