Exploring the Scope of Open Innovation: A Bibliometric Review of a Decade of Research
60 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 14, 2014
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
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