Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice

Felin, Teppo and Zenger, Todd R. (2014) Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice. Research Policy, 43 (5). pp. 914-925.


Scholars have recently highlighted the promise of open innovation. In this paper, we treat open innovation—in it's different forms and manifestations—as well as internal or closed innovation, as unique governance forms with different benefits and costs. We discuss how each governance form, whether open or closed, is composed of a set of instruments that access (a) different types of communication channels for knowledge sharing, (b) different types of incentives, and (c) different types of property rights for appropriating value from innovation. We focus on the innovation “problem” as the central unit of analysis, arguing for a match between problem types and governance forms, which vary from open to closed and which support alternative forms of solution search. In all, the goal of this paper is to provide a comparative framework for managing innovation, where we delineate and discuss four categories of open innovation governance forms (markets, partnerships, contests and tournaments and user or community innovation) and compare them with each other and with two internal or closed forms of innovation governance (authority and consensus-based hierarchy).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Open and closed innovation; Governance choice; Strategy; Problem solving; strategy & innovation
Subject(s): Strategy; Entrepreneurship & Global business
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2014 12:24
Last Modified: 04 May 2016 14:23

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View