Delivering open innovation promises through social media

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Business Strategy, 2018, 39 (6), pp. 21 - 28
Issue Date:
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© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to explore how social media can be used strategically for delivering the promises of open innovation and examines the types of structure that can foster the integration of these new tools with more classic top-down innovation approaches. Design/methodology/approach: A single case study of, ALPHA (pseudonym), a multinational company that combined an integrated strategy and the creation of a lean structure with the full potential of social media. Findings: To take on the challenges of energy transition, ALPHA has implemented a low-cost approach allowing it to harness the promises of open innovation. This combined the introduction of a lean structure, two social media platforms and processes that ensured the integration of open innovation activities with existing departments. Research limitations/implications: The research is based on a single case study. Further research should be conducted to establish the generalization of the results. Practical implications: This paper highlights the key success factors in making such a light approach successful, namely, controlling cost and disruption of open innovation; integration matters; leveraging complementarities with existing social media initiatives; and bottom-up adoption. Originality/value: The research provides a unique approach that can be practically implemented to leverage social media to deliver the promises of open innovation and offers an original way of integrating social media lead innovation and open innovation strategies with more classic R&D activities.
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