This study aims to understand if and how European digital innovation hubs (DIHs) filling the role of knowledge brokers (KBs) can support the digital transformation (DX) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by triggering open innovation (OI) practices.
After presenting a conceptual model of reference, a survey and a subsequent in-depth interview were conducted to capture evidence from Italian DIHs. These structures were selected for their growing importance, as confirmed by the National Plan for Industry 4.0.
The findings highlight that Italian DIHs act not only as KBs but also as knowledge sources that give rise to a digital imprinting process that is able to shape the DX of SMEs.
Research on knowledge sharing and OI has mainly focused on large firms. The study covers the gaps identified in the literature by considering the role of KBs in enabling SMEs to embrace DX.
All authors have contributed equally to the collection of primary data from questionnaires and interviews and in the discussion of the results till drawing the final conclusions.
Crupi, A., Del Sarto, N., Di Minin, A., Gregori, G.L., Lepore, D., Marinelli, L. and Spigarelli, F. (2020), "The digital transformation of SMEs – a new knowledge broker called the digital innovation hub", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 1263-1288. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-11-2019-0623
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited