Exploring the Scope of Open Innovation: A Bibliometric Review of a Decade of Research

60 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014

See all articles by Adrian Kovács

Adrian Kovács

KU Leuven - Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation (MSI)

Bart Van Looy

KU Leuven - Department of Economics

Bruno Cassiman

IESE Business School; KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Date Written: January 14, 2014

Abstract

The concept of open innovation has attracted considerable attention since Henry Chesbrough first coined it to capture firms’ increasing reliance on external sources of innovation. Although open innovation has developed into a prospering topic in innovation management research, it has also triggered debates pertaining to the coherence of the research endeavors pursued under this umbrella, including its theoretical foundations. In this paper we aim to contribute to these debates by means of a bibliometric review of the first decade of open innovation research. We combine two techniques – bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis – to visualize the network of publications that explicitly use the label ‘open innovation’ and to arrive at distinct clusters of thematically related publications. Our findings illustrate that open innovation research mainly builds upon four related streams of prior research, whilst the bibliographic network of open innovation research portrays seven – persistently pursued – thematic clusters. While ‘open innovation’ is used in a variety of contexts, the research agenda has developed into a coherent field of research which resides mainly in the management (business) literature. As such, there is considerable cross-fertilization potential by embracing concepts and insights from complementary fields (economics, sociology), e.g. transaction cost economics and network analysis.

Keywords: Open Innovation; Openness; Literature Review; Bibliographic Coupling; Co-citation Analysis

Suggested Citation

Kovács, Adrian and Van Looy, Bart and Cassiman, Bruno, Exploring the Scope of Open Innovation: A Bibliometric Review of a Decade of Research (January 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2391665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2391665

Adrian Kovács (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Department of Management, Strategy and Innovation (MSI) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69 bus 3500
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Bart Van Looy

KU Leuven - Department of Economics ( email )

Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Bruno Cassiman

IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain
+34 93 602 4426 (Phone)
+34 93 253 4343 (Fax)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

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