The purpose of this paper is to investigate the way companies involved in Open Innovation Processes (OIPs) routinize the procedure through which they can absorb in-bound knowledge, i.e. knowledge that comes from the outside and, in particular, from the crowd. In-bound knowledge passes through the phases of acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation. Thus, companies need to define mechanisms and paths – related to their potential and realized absorptive capacity –to manage and exploit it.
The present paper is based on a longitudinal case study, an OIP launched by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) that has already been implemented for three times. Multiple direct interviews with FCA top managers have allowed rebuilding the routinized procedure through which the company absorbs in-bound knowledge.
To routinize the procedure of absorbing in-bound knowledge, the company has settled specific mechanisms and paths and has established some bottlenecks over the process of acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation of in-bound knowledge. These mechanisms and path, as well as these bottlenecks, are identified and descripted in the paper.
Beyond the limitations linked to the use of a single case study, another limitation might be the reference to a big company in a specific industry. Anyway, with due caution, achieved findings can be referred to other industries as well.
This paper contributes to exploring if and how companies managing OIPs routinize the procedure through which they can absorb in-bound knowledge.
Matricano, D., Candelo, E., Sorrentino, M. and Martínez-Martínez, A. (2019), "Absorbing in-bound knowledge within open innovation processes. The case of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 23 No. 4, pp. 786-807. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-10-2018-0625
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