Beyond intermediation: The open innovation arena as an actor enabling joint knowledge creation
Journal article, 2016

The open innovation paradigm has created opportunities for the emergence of new actors to provide support for open innovation. It is acknowledged that knowledge creation is pivotal to innovation, but this has yet to be discussed in the context of open innovation intermediation. This paper based on a longitudinal study of SAFER, a traffic and vehicle safety research centre in Sweden, explores the role of an actor whose objective is to support joint knowledge creation in open innovation. Theoretical models of knowledge creation are used in the analysis and the identified activities go beyond intermediation, and include peer collaboration and mobilisation of a collective strategic body. These activities are fundamental to an open innovation arena - here introduced as a new type of actor. The paper challenges the established focal firm perspective in open innovation and introduces the open innovation arena to underline knowledge creation among peers.


Knowledge creation

Qualitative research

Inter-organisational collaboration


Open innovation



Innovation management

Case study


Maria Elmquist

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management

Susanne Ollila

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Anna Yström

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

International Journal of Technology Management

0267-5730 (ISSN) 1741-5276 (eISSN)

Vol. 72 4 273-295

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Social Sciences

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship



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