The dynamics of multi-layered openness in innovation systems: The role of distributed knowledge and intellectual property

Open innovation has become an increasingly recognized potential source of innovativeness and competitive advantage. Various perspectives on innovation openness co-exist and a complete comprehension of the underlying mechanisms and dimensions is still lacking. This paper therefore aims at developing a conceptual framework that helps to describe innovation openness. Based on literature and an empirical case of four generations of mobile communication systems we develop a framework consisting of three main dimensions, namely resource distribution, technology governance, and technology accessibility. The case further illustrates the multi-layered and dynamic nature of innovation openness. As such, any notion of a stable optimum and one-dimensional view on innovation openness is overly simplistic and likely to mislead managerial and policy decisions.

Keywords: Open innovation, Intellectual property rights, Governance

Presented at the R&D Management Conference, Grenoble, France, May 23-25, 2012.