Open innovation adoption in global high-tech SME firms: a qualitative multiple case study

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Barrett, Gillian
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University College Cork
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Interest in the paradigm of open innovation has been considerable in recent years. However, limitations in the scope of this research are now evident. Some of those limitations are addressed in this research study by focusing on open innovation from an SME perspective and, in particular, from the perspective of global high-tech SME firms. The goal of this research study is to address the shortcomings in the literature in understanding the adoption of the open innovation practices within the SME sector and in particular within the global high-tech SME sector. This study focused by examining these practices to understand the nature of the adoption and also to explore the influencing factors on how these firms come to adopt open innovation practices. Qualitative multiple case study research was conducted within fourteen firms across the ICT and medical device industries. Research was conducted primarily by interviewing the CEOs and/or founders of these high-tech global SME firms. The findings of this study help to develop our understanding of the meaning of open innovation for global high-tech SME firms. Open innovation adoption for global high-tech SME firms is different to that of larger firms. These findings indicate that global high-tech SME firms are adopting open innovation practices and when these practices are managed effectively, it is a positive strategy overall. For many global high-tech SME firms, their adoption of open innovation practices is on a short-term, project basis rather than on a strategic basis. This research study contributes to the open innovation research by exploring the adoption of open innovation at the individual innovation practice level. The contribution of this research study for practitioners is the development of an ‘innovation fitness’ model and the subsequent ‘innovation fitness’ archetypes which were derived from this model.
Open innovation , High-tech global SME firms , Influencing factors
Barrett, G. 2016. Open innovation adoption in global high-tech SME firms: a qualitative multiple case study. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.