Ready to Be Open? Explaining the Firm-Level Barriers to Benefiting from Openness to External Knowledge

43 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2015 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015

See all articles by Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw

London Business School

Michael Mol

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategic Management and Globalization; University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School

L. Felipe Monteiro

INSEAD - Strategy

Date Written: March 26, 2015

Abstract

This paper provides new theory and evidence about the benefits of openness on a firm’s innovation performance and, more importantly, the specific firm-level contingencies under which those benefits are more (or less) likely to be observed. Building on Dyer and Singh’s (1998) relational view, we suggest that a firm’s lack of resources and absorptive capacity, as well as its use of secrecy, are significant barriers to benefiting from openness to external knowledge. Using responses from 12,152 firms to the fourth and fifth UK versions of the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) we generate findings consistent with our hypotheses.

Keywords: External Knowledge Sourcing, Innovation Performance, Open Innovation, Secrecy, Absorptive Capacity

Suggested Citation

Birkinshaw, Julian and Mol, Michael and Monteiro, L. Felipe, Ready to Be Open? Explaining the Firm-Level Barriers to Benefiting from Openness to External Knowledge (March 26, 2015). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2015/24/STR. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2585538 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2585538

Julian Birkinshaw

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Michael Mol

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Strategic Management and Globalization ( email )

Porcelænshaven 24
Frederiksberg, 2000
Denmark

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

L. Felipe Monteiro (Contact Author)

INSEAD - Strategy ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau
France

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