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Frameworks and Models for Open Innovation: Where Are They?

by Stefan Lindegaard
January 15, 20131/15/13 8 Comments

I think it is a puzzle. Open innovation is the biggest buzz in the innovation community. Almost all companies are experimenting with the idea of bringing external input into their innovation process although to a various degree.

However, there are no generally accepted frameworks or approaches besides the “Want, Find, Get, Manage” model developed by Strategic Alliance and perhaps the “challenge-driven” model as promoted by innovation intermediaries such as InnoCentive and NineSigma.

I know that several companies including Mars and GSK use or have been inspired by the “Want, Find, Get, Manage” model. I also know that many companies are using their own models, but it would be great to get some more insights on the topic of frameworks and models for open innovation.

Let me open up this discussion by asking a couple of questions:

Why are there so few established frameworks and models on open innovation?

What are the key elements of the frameworks and models used by corporate innovation teams?

What are the key issues that future frameworks and models must address?

Your input is highly appreciated.

Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. […] this link: Frameworks and Models for Open Innovation: Where Are They … Tags: degree, […]

  2. I would personally argue for a process model perspective that consists of obtaining, integrating and commercializing external sources of innovation. While there are many practices and research articles about the front-end of this process, the integration and commercialization part of this process are less well practiced and understood. I therefore this that future frameworks, models and practices should better address what happens once the external innovation or knowledge enters the organization. In many case, it is the internal organization, culture, business model, etc, where leveraging open innovation breaks down. (These points are also highlighted in my forthcoming article: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2195675)

    • Stefan Lindegaard says:

      Hi Marcel, thanks for your comments. Do you have any views on why it is so difficult to develop models that are being used? Is it just the overall clutter that makes it difficult for one to stand-out and succeed or is there something else behind this?

      • Hi Stefan, I think that the "clutter" argument is surely a valid one. It is hard to predict what will be used and then there are different drivers for practice vs. academia. But in general I would say that a model should meet a balance between simplicity and applicability. For example, the “Want, Find, Get, Manage” model is quite commonly used and we were in some way inspired by it for our "Obtaining, Integrating, Commercializing" Model, which we hope is somewhat comprehensive in terms of research-based evidence and theory. But still, people (not the least in industry) tend to take a model as a basis and adjust it to their context. Maybe it breaks down in that there is no (or not enough) feedback from the adjusted/implemented models to the theory. This would be relevant because it would show the exact conditions and reasons for which models work or at least are used.

        • bartdoorneweert says:

          Great questions here. I'm developing a partnership tool as an add-on to the business model canvas for exactly the reason as @Tim describes, letting practitioners build their own systems and details.

          Furthermore, I have designed it in such a way that it should help avoid some of the common partnership innovation mistakes by:
          – intuitively taking the partner's perspective into account in the design,
          – focussing on setting up a non-monetary value exchange, and mutual access to the inputs of the partnership, instead of on the transaction relation
          – supporting clear definition of hypotheses & metrics for value capture in both your and your partner's business model,
          – creating overview in the partnership portfolio, thereby preventing conflicts.

          I'm really keen to have some input on this from open innovation perspective too. Please check a blog post where I've used the partnership canvas tool to discuss the case of Spotify and it's partnership-enabled business model innovation efforts: http://valuechaingeneration.com/2015/06/14/how-sp

  3. jespermathiasnielsen says:

    With regards to the lack of models, I think it ultimately pertains to the knowledge based view not being a true or recognized theory of the firm.
    Secondly, it is my impression the most workable models stems from permeability studies and the design of firm boundaries. IBM's Innovation Jam is a good example of almost paradigmic quality as it highlights the issue of IPR and the timing of knowledge internalization for commercialization purposes.

  4. Hi Stefan, I think one reason for the lack of models is the diversity of approaches that are labelled as open innovation. You can license in or out; user co-creation is classified as OI; acquiring new competencies with an external partner leading to new value can be OI. In addition, the W/F/G/M model is so adaptable depending on each company's objectives and circumstances, so any other versions may be seen as derivative.

  5. Tim Schikora says:

    I certainly believe it is quite hard to develop one single model that captures all the nuances of different Open Innovation practices. Especially if you expect the model to show you whether you do it exactly right.
    The only thing you can do, is focus on which components are necessary for (Open) Innovation to be successful and let every practitioner build their own systems and details, very much like the Business Model Canvas. That's exactly the approach we took with our Open Innovation Canvas (you can use it here: http://canvanizer.com/new/open-innovation-canvas).
    We are still testing and refining it, as we go along, so everyone is invited to contribute in any way to it (it's Creative Commons).

    It still doesn't ensure that the Open Innovation Systems practitioners build are going to work but it makes it a lot easier to understand these systems and the different components that make them work.