Creating and Evolving an Open Innovation Ecosystem: Lessons from Symbian Ltd.
KGI - Keck Graduate Institute
Delta Wisdom Ltd; Accenture
July 11, 2008
Firms that practice open innovation strategies rely on the cooperation of external firms to provide components, complements and customers for the innovations of the focal firm (Chesbrough, 2003). Such strategies can be quite complex in systems-based industries, which inherently require coordinating across a wide range of partners to deliver customer value (West, 2006).
Open innovation researchers have theorised that value networks (or business ecosystems) can play an important part in such open innovation strategies (Vanhaverbeke, 2006; Maula et al, 2006). However, limited empirical work has been done on the process of creating such ecosystems and the forces and processes that cause them to evolve over time.
In considering firm ecosystem strategies, we are interested in the linkage between firm motivations, ecosystem strategies and outcomes, and how these factors and their relationships evolve over time. To do so, we examine the complex ecosystem surrounding Symbian Ltd. that supports its mobile phone operating system.
After reviewing prior research on open innovation networks, we present a longitudinal case study on the creation and evolution of Symbian’s ecosystem over three distinct phases in its first decade. From this, we identify inherent challenges of managing open innovation networks, including creating a new network for an unproven value proposition, and prioritising the conflicting needs of disparate network members.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 36
Keywords: value networks, ecosystems, open innovation, mobile phonesworking papers series
Date posted: March 20, 2011
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