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Where and how to search? Search paths in open innovation
Linköping University.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Hasselt University.
2016 (English)In: Research Policy, ISSN 0048-7333, E-ISSN 1873-7625, Vol. 45, no 1, 125-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Search for external knowledge is vital for firms' innovative activities. To understand search, we propose two knowledge search dimensions: search space (local or distant) and search heuristics (experiential or cognitive). Combining these two dimensions, we distinguish four search paths - situated paths, analogical paths, sophisticated paths, and scientific paths - which respond to recent calls to move beyond "where to search" and to investigate the connection with "how to search." Also, we highlight how the mechanisms of problem framing and boundary spanning operate within each search path to identify solutions to technology problems. We report on a study of 18 open innovation projects that used an innovation intermediary, and outline the characteristics of each search path. Exploration of these search paths enriches previous studies of search in open innovation by providing a comprehensive, but structured, framework that explains search, its underlying mechanisms, and potential outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 45, no 1, 125-136 p.
Keyword [en]
Search space, Search heuristics, Organizational search, Innovation intermediaries, Problem framing, Boundary spanning
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265301DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2015.08.003ISI: 000367484100010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265301DiVA: diva2:865096
Riksbankens JubileumsfondThe Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation
Available from: 2015-10-26 Created: 2015-10-26 Last updated: 2016-06-22Bibliographically approved

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