Journal Article

How open is innovation?

Research Policy 39 (6): 699–709
2016 Highly cited paper (Web of Knowledge)
Linus Dahlander, David M. Gann (2010)
Subject(s): Technology, R&D management
Keyword(s): appropriability; complementary assets; openness; innovation; open innovation; review; content analysis

This paper is motivated by a desire to clarify the definition of 'openness' as currently used in the literature on open innovation, and to re-conceptualize the idea for future research on the topic. We combine bibliographic analysis of all papers on the topic published in Thomson's ISI Web of Knowledge (ISI) with a systematic content analysis of the field to develop a deeper understanding of earlier work. Our review indicates two inbound processes: sourcing and acquiring, and two outbound processes, revealing and selling. We analyze the advantages and disadvantages of these different forms of openness. The paper concludes with implications for theory and practice, charting several promising areas for future research.

With permission of Elsevier


As of May/June 2016, this highly cited paper received enough citations to place it in the top 1% of the academic field of Social Sciences, general based on a highly cited threshold for the field and publication year. – Data from Essential Science Indicators℠

Volume 39
Issue 6
Pages 699–709