Managing Open Innovation
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Managing Open Innovation

Connecting the Firm to External Knowledge

André Spithoven, Peter Teirlinck and Dirk Frantzen

Open innovation is about firms’ external relations with other firms and organisations. It is a topic which has attracted an immense amount of attention, but which has also been heavily criticised due to the diversity of the ideas and fuzziness of its key concepts. To date, the bulk of the literature on open innovation draws on case study material to illustrate the operation of firms in an anecdotal way. By contrast, this book examines open innovation practices by using large-scale datasets and stresses their impact on firm performance. The authors examine four key issues: differences between firms in open innovation practices, public funding to enhance external relations, R & D outsourcing of firms, and the role of human resources in R & D and innovation.
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Chapter 9: The Impact of Occupation and Education of R & D Personnel on Knowledge Exchange

André Spithoven, Peter Teirlinck and Dirk Frantzen


9. The impact of occupation and education of R&D personnel on knowledge exchange 9.1 INTRODUCTION Due to the complexity and knowledge intensity of developing new products and processes, the R&D-active company has to look elsewhere to complement its internal R&D efforts (Cassiman and Veugelers, 2006). To this end a company is able to engage in collaborative agreements that can have a formal or informal character (Bönte and Keilbach, 2005). At least two issues can be addressed by such an agreement. First, a collaboration agreement can spell out the exact arrangement between the partners involved as regards the costs and organisational engagements. Second, the agreement might include appropriability issues if the aim of collaboration is to devise a new product or set up a new process (Gulati and Singh, 1998; Helper et al., 2000). Hence the IP management of companies becomes a vital issue. This is especially the case in the early stages of formal R&D collaborations (Bader, 2006). Knowledge stocks and flows are recognised as a crucial element of value creation in firms (Kang et al., 2007). This chapter adds to the knowledgebased view of firms, which sees them as repositories of competences and knowledge (Kogut and Zander, 1996; Grant, 1996) by devoting more attention to the embodiment of these competences with respect to the ability to cooperate and to share knowledge. Knowledge-generation often results from new combinations of existing knowledge (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990). This is not restricted to the boundaries of the firm...

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