Leveraging Open Innovation to Improve Society: Past Achievements and Future Trajectories
1Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea; 2Open University, The Netherlands; 3University of Bologna, Italy; 4University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Open innovation (OI) is an approach which describes a purposive attempt to draw together knowledge from different contributors to develop and exploit innovation. It has become clear that OI directly benefits organisations' economic performance and resilience, but researchers, practitioners, and policy makers became also convinced that OI might be the way forward to tackle the world’s most pressing societal challenges, representing unresolved Grand Challenges, which can only be weathered by diverse sets of collaborative partners that join forces. Although anecdotal evidence points at how OI practices can be employed to achieve societal impact not only in private firms but also in public organisations, very little understanding exists ‐beyond anecdotal‐ to link OI to societal impact. This special issue has the ambition to start the discussion and establish a framework as the stepping stone to tackle this complex research gap.
Citizen Participation in Public Administration: Investigating Open Government for Social Innovation
1Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria; 2RWTH AACHEN UNIVERSITY, Germany; 3University of Copenhagen, Denmark
In recent years, public sector organizations have increasingly focused on citizen contribution by adopting instruments known from open innovation. By collaborating with the periphery and leveraging external knowledge, government institutions initiate social innovation and stimulate a positive change for society. This article examines the involvement of citizens in an ideation platform initiated by a local government and investigates the motivations affecting participation intensity. Drawing on self‐determination theory, we analyze what motivates citizens to participate in an open government platform and how these motivations influence participation quantity. Based on a survey among platform users and the analysis of usage data from the platform operator, we find that motivations of citizen participation in public administration greatly vary across forms of participation. Whereas, intrinsic motivation is positively associated with producing and consuming platform content, external and introjected regulation negatively relate to individuals’ active contribution. At the same time, external regulation is positively associated with evaluation behavior.
Crowdsourcing Without Profit: The Role of the Seeker in Open Social Innovation
1University of Technology Sydney, Australia; 2Macquarie University, Australia; 3Keck Graduate Institute, USA
Crowdsourcing has increasingly been studied as an open innovation (OI) mechanism by which organizations (seekers) engage with an external crowd of potential solvers. Previous crowdsourcing research has focused on solvers and their individual motivations, providing few insights as to why and how seekers use crowdsourcing, and how these choices affect the value that might be realized from these efforts. Prior research has also emphasized profit‐seeking firms, despite the use of OI practices by public sector organizations to achieve societal benefits. This paper examines the organizational and project‐level choices of government agencies that crowdsource from citizens to drive open social innovation, and thus develop new ways to address societal problems, a process sometimes termed ‘citizensourcing.’ Using rich data from 18 local government seekers that use the same intermediary, we develop a model of seeker crowdsourcing implementation that links a previously unstudied variance in seeker intent and engagement strategies to differences in project team motivation and capabilities, in turn leading to varying online engagement behaviors and ultimately project outcomes. Our study compares and contrasts governmental and corporate crowdsourcing to reveal that the non‐pecuniary orientation of both seekers and solvers means that the motives of government crowdsourcing are fundamentally different from corporate crowdsourcing, but the process in our sample more closely resembles that of a firm‐sponsored community rather than government sponsored contests. More generally, we show how seeker organizational factors and choices shape project‐level implementation and success of crowdsourcing efforts, as well as provide insights for OI activities of other smaller, geographically bound organizations.
Open Social Innovation Dynamics and Impact: Exploratory Study of a Fab Lab Network
1École Polytechnique / CNRS i3-CRG; 2SKEMA Business School
The aim of this research is to explore the dynamics and impact of open social innovation, within the context of fab labs and makerspaces. Using an exploratory methodology based on 12 semi‐structured interviews of fab lab founders belonging to The Centres for Maker Innovation and Technology (CMIT) programme – a network of 170 fab labs located in Eastern Europe – this research explores the impact of an adopting an open approach in relation to the different stages of social innovation (prompts, proposals, prototypes, sustaining, scaling and diffusion, systemic change) as well as social impact. The main results of this study are that while the CMIT programme provided each fab lab with similar initial conditions (identical funding, objectives and rules), the open social innovation approached adopted enabled to give birth to a wide diversity of fab labs, each being very well adapted to the local environment, social needs and constraints and able to deliver social impact in just a matter of years; a result that would be hard to achieve with a centralised top‐down approach. The study identified three types of CMITs – Education, Industry and Residential – which could be similar or different depending on the stage of social open innovation. Furthermore, this paper discusses the main difficulties social entrepreneurs encounter as a part of the open social innovation process, as well as means to overcome them. In this respect, this study adds to the literature on fab labs by providing more comprehensive view of the challenges faced by fab labs (and makerspaces) founders, as well as suggestions of strategies enabling to ensure their long‐term sustainability.