Exploring the scope of open innovation: a bibliometric review of a decade of research

Adrian Kovacs, Bart Van Looy, Bruno Cassiman

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The concept of open innovation has attracted considerable attention since Henry Chesbrough first coined it to capture firms’ increasing reliance on external sources of innovation. Although open innovation has developed into a prospering topic in innovation management research, it has also triggered debates pertaining to the coherence of the research endeavors pursued under this umbrella, including its theoretical foundations. In this paper we aim to contribute to these debates by means of a bibliometric review of the first decade of open innovation research. We combine two techniques – bibliographic coupling and co-citation analysis – to visualize the network of publications that explicitly use the label ‘open innovation’ and to arrive at distinct clusters of thematically related publications. Our findings illustrate that open innovation research mainly builds upon four related streams of prior research, whilst the bibliographic network of open innovation research portrays seven – persistently pursued – thematic clusters. While ‘open innovation’ is used in a variety of contexts, the research agenda has developed into a coherent field of research which resides mainly in the management (business) literature. As such, there is considerable cross-fertilization potential by embracing concepts and insights from complementary fields (economics, sociology), e.g. transaction cost economics and network analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings 2014
PublisherAcademy of Management
Number of pages58
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event74th Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
Conference number: 74

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings
PublisherAcademy of Management
ISSN (Print)2151-6561
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


Conference74th Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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