From Closed to Open Innovation in Emerging Economies: Evidence from the Chemical Industry in Brazil
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionTechnology innovation management review. 2018, 8 (3), 26-37. http://doi.org/10.22215/timreview/1144
In this article, we examine how firms in an emerging economy perform research and development (R&D) activities in regards to the concept of open innovation. Most literature on open innovation shows multinational knowledge-intensive firms with wellestablished R&D processes mainly in developed countries. Searching for management contributions for firms in emerging economies, we qualitatively analyzed two chemical firms in Southern Brazil that have different profiles and are representative samples of typical firms in the region. Our results show that firms did not fully exploit the potential benefits brought by open innovation, even when complete opening was not the main goal. The firms were similar concerning interactions with partners and stages where relationships occur. The generation of ideas was an open activity performed both by firms and by clients, and interactions with universities were getting stronger. the other hand, intellectual property has not been used as means of profiting from innovation activities. Our main finding refers to the internal mediation of relationships with partners. R&D teams rarely contact external organizations directly; instead, they leave such interactions to other departments within their firms. Relationships with clients are mediated through technical and commercial departments, and interactions with suppliers are intermediated by the supply staff.