Does open innovation always work? The role of complementary assets

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The aim of this research is twofold: first, to identify Open Innovation (OI) configurations, and second, to analyze which configurations are associated with a high, and which with a low, OI performance. Using a configurational approach (involving complementarity and equifinality), we propose that firms use different OI configurations, by combining three openness practices (high number of alliances, partner diversity, and external R&D) and four complementary organizational assets (human capital, alliance coordination capabilities, inter-organizational learning capabilities, and patenting orientation), and that such configurations affect OI performance. We conducted a survey study on the Spanish biotech industry. A sample of 75 companies was analyzed using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). The results revealed seven high-performing configurations and six low-performing configurations. Configurations combining one or more OI practices and complementary organizational assets achieved a high OI performance, while open configurations lacking the necessary organizational assets were not successful. Closed configurations also performed poorly. The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
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Ministerio de Ciencia y Competitividad (Project ECO2016-78882-R).
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Carmona-Lavado, A., Cuevas-Rodríguez, G., Cabello-Medina, C., Fedriani, E.M. (2021): Does open innovation always work? The role of complementary assets, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 162,
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