Opening open innovation : a multi-theoretical perspective on intermediaries in online community-based innovation

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Through three research papers, this thesis develops a holistic understanding of how intermediaries facilitate organizations engage in open innovation by crowdsourcing from online communities.The first paper provides a systematic bibliometric review of the open innovation literature, to uncover key research gaps and set an agenda, suggesting how theoretical lenses from external fields such as organizational behavior and marketing can be applied to more comprehensively explore the open innovation phenomenon. The remaining two empirical papers follow these recommendations in examining different facets of intermediary-mediated, community-based open innovation. Drawing on the Community of Practice perspective of knowledge, the second paper draws ideas from organizational behavior to examine the role of open innovation intermediaries in facilitating knowledge collaboration between client organizations and online communities. The third paper makes an additional contribution by integrating the Service-Dominant logic of marketing, to investigate what capabilities intermediaries deploy to enable clients to implement open service innovation through community-based crowdsourcing. By drawing on multiple theoretical perspectives that are under-explored within the literature, this thesis connects open innovation with external research domains, laying the foundation to advance the field toward a sturdier theoretical bent. The insights have practical implications for managers of intermediaries hoping to build client capacity in community-based open innovation.
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