Open Innovation: Research on Locating and Incorporating External Innovations
Academy of Management, August 9, 2005

Last Updated August 11, 2005


Kira Fabrizio


Keld Laursen

This All-Academy Symposium updated the earlier Open Innovation book with new empirical research on the practice of open innovation.

Two of the three papers are adapted from the forthcoming book Open Innovation: Researching A New Paradigm


Jens Christensen

Session Presentations

The session (#1064) took place place at 2:30 p.m. August 9 at the Hawai’i Convention Center. The 80 minute program consisted of

The official AOM session page can be found here.


Here are the latest versions of the papers:

†Drafts of the chapters to appear in Henry Chesbrough, Wim Vanhaverbeke, and Joel West, eds., Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, Oxford University Press, 2006.


“Open innovation” describes a new paradigm for the management of industrial innovation in the 21st century, in which firms work with external partners to both commercialize their internal innovations and to obtain a source of external innovations that can be commercialized. But thus far, the empirical evidence for the paradigm consists primarily of a series of a small number of cases, published in managerial book intended to influence managerial practice.

In this symposium, we will focus on one half of the “open innovation” equation — the supply and use of external innovation by the focal firm. The changes for industrial innovators are potentially wrenching, as they must develop new innovation processes to identify, acquire and incorporate these innovations into their firm.

Here we present empirical papers on the use of external innovation in a wide range of industries, including electronics, pharmaceuticals, and general manufacturing. They suggest the appropriate domain and processes for maximizing the returns to external innovation.

We use this evidence to discuss key questions as for innovation and competitive advantage of the firm. For firms using external innovation, what is the source of differentiation and barriers to imitation? Is it identification or integration abilities? Is it a supply of complementary assets such as distribution and branding?

More generally, with the rise of the external innovation paradigm, what activities belong inside and outside the boundaries of the firm?

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