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"Exploration" in the open innovation front-end

The role of technologies
: Brunswicker, S.; Hutschek, U.; Wagner, L.

Huizingh, K.R.E. ; International Society for Professional Innovation Management -ISPIM-:
Sustainability in Innovation. Innovation Management Challenges. XXII ISPIM Conference 2011. Proceedings. CD-ROM : Hamburg, Germany, 12-15 June 2011
Manchester: ISPIM, 2011
ISBN: 978-952-265-092-4
15 S.
International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM Conference) <22, 2011, Hamburg>
Fraunhofer IAO ()

The burgeoning discussion in open and collaborative innovation has revitalized firms' interest in purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge. This questions our understanding of "explorative innovation" and the role of technologies in explorative innovation search. This paper aims to enhance our conceptual understanding of "explorative" innovation strategies. Based on a systematic literature review, we synthesize existing literature on explorative innovation. We identify six groups of conceptualizations that reflect the diverse perspective towards explorative innovation. These groups differ in terms of the level of analysis, the dominating theoretical perspectives, the underlying dimensions describing how firms explore and search, and the relevance of external and internal conditioning factors. Overall, we found that the role of technology in explorative search varies, and has slightly changed over time. We propose a multidimensional perspective towards exploration. We highlight that technologies may serve a range of functions in the firm's business model.