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Call for papers: Special Issue on Open Innovation and Knowledge for Fostering Business Ecosystems

Submission deadline: September 30, 2017


Guest Editors:

Joćo J. Ferreira (University of Beira Interior, Portugal)

Aurora Teixeira (University of Porto, Portugal)



The paradigm of open innovation has received substantial attention from academics and practitioners since it was first popularized by Chesbrough (2003) as a counterpoint to the traditional ‘closed innovation’ view. Open innovation is based on a strong of antecedent knowledge  developed in the innovation management literature, including approaches related to R&D externalization, outsourcing, inter-firm collaboration and organization-environmental interaction (Huizingh, 2011; Lazzarotti et al., 2017). In essence, open innovation approaches suggest that the generation of innovative outputs is facilitated by more openness towards external sources of knowledge. This openness encourages the fluidity of knowledge and information flows between firms (Chesbrough, 2006; Crescenzi et al., 2016; Shearmur & Doloreux, 2016).

More particularly, research should shed new light on how open innovation and knowledge may stimulate performance of business ecosystems. In this Special Issue a synergistic portfolio of papers will be selected to illuminate new research opportunities and challenges for open innovation and knowledge management academics and decision makers. Innovation is traditionally considered to be the primary driving force of progress and prosperity. Within innovation management research and practice there is some significant understanding of this standing but less is known about how open innovation and knowledge (spillovers) interact with business ecosystems.

Networks enable partners to create and share knowledge. Some literature on the knowledge transfer (Battistella et al., 2016; Giudice et al., 2016; Ferreira et al., 2013; Ferreira et al., 2016; Ferreira et al., 2017;) provide insight in how firms interact with their environment to benefit from open innovation: interorganizational networks as locus of innovation (Powell et al., 1996), explorative and exploitative network ties (March, 1991; Vanhverbeke, 2006). Open innovation benefits from building connections that are wide and deep and from finding the right balance between these connections.

Empirical evidence shows that firms implementing open innovation need a number of open networking capabilities (absorptive capacity, multiplicative capacity and relational capacity),  with suppliers, customers, higher education institutions, competitors, and others (Gassmann et al., 2010; Huston and Sakkab, 2006; Perkmann and Walsh, 2007).

The emergence of the open innovation approach has been deeply influenced by changes in our thinking about the essential importance of firms’ internal and external knowledge environments. More mobility of skilled workforces and more ready transmission of knowledge by information technology enlarged the occurrence of spillovers between firms and their external environments. University-industry cooperation and the growth of Triple Helix relationships involving firms, universities, and government have gradually become the standard (Crescenzi et al., 2016; D’Este and Iammarino, 2010; Leydesdorff and Etzkowitz, 1998). By cooperating region­ally, nationally and internationally, business ecosystems can to improve their strengths, combine skills, and create diverse applications for newly discovered solutions (creativity) sharing their resources and knowledge capabilities with other regions in joint R&D partnerships, promoting entrepreneurial and innovative systems, developing smart solutions and promoting the renewal and growth of business.

How to accomplish this strategic objective involves huge challenge and a deeper understanding of the role of several stakeholders involved on this process.


Aims and Possible Topics

The aim of this Special Issue is to assemble high quality papers that deepen and boost understanding the role of open innovation and knowledge on business ecosystems development.  To achieve this aim, the special issue invites conceptual and/or empirical papers, presenting cutting edge research on open Innovation and knowledge at micro, meso and macro level. Papers that examine trends and initiatives, employ original methodologies, and offer interesting empirical insights and theoretical contribution related to open innovation and knowledge driven business ecosystems are very welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited, to the following lines of inquiry:

·         How may business ecosystem inspire and support technology entrepreneurs and managers to innovate?

·         How may knowledge and creative skills be integrated with technology solutions to create high-value innovations?

·         How may open innovation act as an instrument to support organizational learning mechanisms are useful in business ecosystem?

·         What are the main impacts derived from cooperation and coopetition among firms?

·         Is there a relation between open innovation and the internationalization stance of businesses ecosystems?

·         How open innovation is devised and influenced by firms’ internationalization strategies and performance?

·         How may policy and public interventions favour these open relationships?

·         What are the main impacts of Science and technology parks to promote open Innovation?

Journal of Innovation & Knowledge (JIK) publishes high-quality empirical papers and can consider good conceptual and theoretical papers, but they should not mainly be descriptive. Please see the JIK editorial aims on the journal’s website.


Submission Process

To be considered for publication, manuscripts must be sent electronically to the Guest Editors before 30 September 2017. Please submit manuscripts as e-mail attachments to the Guest Editors ([log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask]) as soon as possible for preliminary consideration.

All submitted manuscripts should be prepared in accordance to the JIK authors’ guidelines.

Selected authors will then be invited to submit their paper to the JIK electronic submission system. The Special Issue editors plan to publish this Special Issue at beginning of 2018. 


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