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Open Innovation Groundwork

Journal article
Authors Björn Remneland Wikhamn
Alexander Styhre
Published in International Journal of Innovation Management
ISSN 1363-9196
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Language en
Keywords AstraZeneca, groundwork, life science, Open innovation
Subject categories Business Administration


Although the concept of open innovation has gained much attention in the field of innovation management, few studies have so far theorized how such initiatives are being enacted in practice. This study is based on an inductive empirical analysis of how AstraZeneca, a large biopharmaceutical corporation, implemented an open innovation initiative called BioVentureHub. In the paper we introduce a theoretical model of open innovation enactment based on four interrelated processes. Three of these processes - conceptualization, mobilization, and operationalization - include activities related to preparing for open innovation, what we call open innovation groundwork. The fourth process - facilitation - involves translating the groundwork into actual open innovation. The study contributes to the broader open innovation domain by its detailed account and theorizing of how open innovation is established in practice. Our methodological approach complements the previous research on open innovation that mostly are based on retrospective accounts or are conceptual in nature. Moreover, the study contributes by illustrating a novel initiative from the life science industry, where open innovation is frequently discussed but where still only a few empirical examples are found in academic literature

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