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Open innovation and corporate culture

A case study among German SMEs
: Nawroth, Georg; Keicher, Lukas; Kurz, Lisa; Ardilio, Antonino

Costa, Carlos (Ed.):
ECIE 2018, 13th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Proceedings : University of Aveiro, Portugal, 20-21 September 2018
Sonning Common: ACPIL, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-911218-97-5
ISBN: 978-1-911218-98-2
European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ECIE) <13, 2018, Aveiro>
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung BMBF
Zwanzig20; 03ZZ0605; futureTEX
Ein Zukunftsmodell für Traditionsbranchen in der vierten industriellen Revolution
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Open Innovation offers great chances for the improvement of the success rate of innovations to enterprises and is widely researched among bigger companies and corporations. This case study investigates the knowledge transfer and dissemination of Open Innovation for German small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) from the very traditional technical textile industry. The study investigates sample of 56 SME, which corresponds to 22% of enterprises of the German textile industry. This study shows that the corporates’ cultural framework and the resulting organizational structures have a massive influence on Open Innovation and the willingness to open up innovation processes. Nevertheless, a very interesting result of this examination is that, when it comes to cooperation, a similar culture within the cooperating enterprises is of less relevance for executives compared with other factors. Moreover, many of the surveyed companies still struggle with their experiences after Germany was reunited and complain about a lack of confidence especially when cooperating with companies from former Western Germany. On the other hand, when it comes to international cooperation, the missing skills in speaking English are named as the most important obstacle. A special focus of this examination is on the influence of the employee’s mind-set and the company’s culture as well as on the mind-set of the executives to develop an assessment tool regarding the cultural readiness for Open Innovation. This paper shows the concept of the culture based Open Innovation approach by a set of success factors, which are defined in cooperation with the technical textile SMEs themselves.