PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the way companies involved in Open Innovation Processes (OIPs) routinize the procedure through which they can absorb in-bound knowledge, i.e. knowledge that comes from the outside and, in particular, from the crowd. In-bound knowledge passes through the phases of acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation. Thus, companies need to define mechanisms and paths – related to their potential and realized absorptive capacity –to manage and exploit it.Design/methodology/approachThe present paper is based on a longitudinal case study, an OIP launched by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) that has already been implemented for three times. Multiple direct interviews with FCA top managers have allowed rebuilding the routinized procedure through which the company absorbs in-bound knowledge.FindingsTo routinize the procedure of absorbing in-bound knowledge, the company has settled specific mechanisms and paths and has established some bottlenecks over the process of acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation of in-bound knowledge. These mechanisms and path, as well as these bottlenecks, are identified and descripted in the paper.Research limitations/implicationsBeyond the limitations linked to the use of a single case study, another limitation might be the reference to a big company in a specific industry. Anyway, with due caution, achieved findings can be referred to other industries as well.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to exploring if and how companies managing OIPs routinize the procedure through which they can absorb in-bound knowledge.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 13, 2019