Wanted: the people behind open innovation

More and more businesses are opting for an open innovation strategy, where they decide to look outside their own organisation and cooperate with research centres, companies or other partners. So far, open innovation has been studied mostly from a strategic point of view, while the human aspect is often overlooked. Promoting open innovation actually requires specific people management practices and an adapted business culture. Traditional HR practices, on the other hand, strongly focus on encouraging and reinforcing individual performance and development, forming a potential stumbling block for open innovation.

Innovation no longer takes place solely within businesses - companies involve multiple partners in this process, from knowledge institutions to other companies. Beside major companies, more and more SMEs are also opting for open innovation. Moreover, open innovation is not just relevant to high-tech sectors, other sectors are also increasingly innovating in this way.

Open innovation is a human activity. People management and the business culture are therefore crucial. However, that is often where the difficulty lies: employees are not encouraged sufficiently to innovate outside the bounds of their company or business unit.

A study by the Flanders DC Knowledge Centre carried out by Professor Katleen De Stobbeleir and researchers Angie Van Steerthem and Fauve Delcour from Vlerick Business School investigates how organisations can promote open innovation with the right human elements. This draws on a thorough study of the literature and interviews with experts and organisations successfully practising open innovation.

Read the full article.

Source: “De menselijke factor in open innovatie: hoe people management open innovatie kan stimuleren” (The human factor in open innovation: how people management can promote open innovation) – Flanders DC Knowledge Centre at Vlerick Business School. Research by professor Katleen De Stobbeleir and researchers Angie Van Steerthem and Fauve Delcour at Vlerick Business School.

 

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