How open is innovation? A retrospective and ideas forward
Journal article, 2021

This paper sheds fresh light on our 2010 paper How Open Is Innovation by taking into consideration notable developments in innovation over the last decade. The original paper developed four types of openness: sourcing, acquiring, selling, and revealing. Reflecting on important technological, organizational, and societal changes in the past decade, we highlight how these changes prompt novel questions for open innovation. While the core features of the original framework still stands, there are many new questions that have emerged in recent years. We end by charting a path for future research that emphasizes opportunities, costs and tradeoffs between different modes of open innovation, the need to better understand the nature of data, new organizational designs and legal instruments, and multilevel aspects and relationships that affect the extent and nature of openness.


Open innovation

Retrospective, review, sharing, openness


Linus Dahlander

ESMT Berlin

David M. Gann

University of Oxford

Martin Wallin

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Strategy

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich (ETH)

Research Policy

0048-7333 (ISSN)

Vol. 50 4 104218

Subject Categories

Business Administration

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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