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Absorbing in-bound knowledge within open innovation processes. The case of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Diego Matricano (Department of Management, Università degli Studi della Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Capua, Italy)
Elena Candelo (Department of Management, Università degli Studi della Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Capua, Italy)
Mario Sorrentino (Department of Management, Università degli Studi della Campania “L. Vanvitelli”, Capua, Italy)
Aurora Martínez-Martínez (Department of Business Economics, Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, Cartagena, Spain)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 May 2019

Issue publication date: 20 May 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to exploring if and how companies managing OIPs routinize the procedure through which they can absorb in-bound knowledge.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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