An investigation into the roles of open innovation collaboration managers
Journal article, 2017
The concept of open innovation has gained traction among practitioners and academics. Many different aspects of open innovation have been researched, but the question of how to manage open innovation collaboration in order to achieve the desired knowledge flow across organizational boundaries remains only partly answered. Consequently, this article argues for the need to complement prior firm-centric perspectives by investigating the roles of senior management in the postmodern form of organizing that characterizes open innovation collaboration. A more in-depth understanding of managerial roles in this context can increase the chances of fruitful collaboration. Thus, the article uses an inductive, interview-based approach to explore senior management roles in two institutionalized open innovation collaborations, thereby creating an initial conceptualization of the role of managers in open innovation and forming a basis for further studies on open innovation management. In this respect, the article identifies and discusses additional managerial roles that appear to be crucial for open innovation collaborations. These roles are those of a facilitator, tactician, and sensegiver.