Failure to adopt open innovation: A study of North East-based Manufacturing SMEs in the UK

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Abstract

This paper responds to recent calls for deeper research into failed open innovation (OI) strategies and the contingencies that impede OI adoption. A firm’s willingness to open up its innovation process has been linked to performance benefits and faster product development cycles; however, research on the contingencies that facilitate and impede openness is still required. This paper aims to explore the adoption of open innovation business models in north east-based manufacturing SMEs. This study is based on data gathered from the initial stages of a PhD programme, and based on 10 semi-structured interviews with managers and lead engineers/designers, within 5 manufacturing firms employing 10 to 250 staff. Initial results indicate reasons for the failure of the open innovation paradigm to successfully permeate into one of the UK’s key industry sectors.

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