Trust in open innovation – the case of a med-tech start-up

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Christina Öberg, Företagandets villkor, Gabriel Linton, Innovation, Nina Hasche, Start-ups, Tillit


Purpose: The literature has shown great interest in open innovation (OI), and also discussed its degree of openness based on, for example, the number of parties involved. Less is known, however, about what makes OI processes work. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the importance of trust in OI, and the paper specifically focusses on a start-up company’s OI processes with collaboration parties. The paper points out how a lack of trust antecedents may disable such OI processes.

Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a case study on a medicine technology start-up. Interviews and analyses of secondary sources made up the main data capturing methods. Each collaboration between the start-up and another party is analysed through three trust antecedents: contractual, competence based, and goodwill.

Findings: The paper shows how either party may have chosen to discontinue the collaboration, based on the lack of competence or goodwill antecedents to trust. Specifically, the case indicates how the start-up discontinues the collaboration based on a perceived lack of goodwill, while the collaboration party bases its decision on competence deficits by the start-up.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to previous research through describing OI related to start-ups, and introducing trust antecedents as prerequisites for OI. To the literature on trust, trust mutuality makes a research contribution.

Hasche, N., Linton, G., & Öberg, C. (2017). Trust in open innovation – the case of a med-tech start-up. European Journal of Innovation Management, 20(1), 31-49. DOI: 10.1108/EJIM-10-2015-0111

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Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.


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Öberg, C.



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Design/methodology/approach: The empirical part of the paper consists of a single case study. Data was captured through interviews and secondary data sources.

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Originality/value: The paper contributes to research by discussing contemporary issues in strategy and innovation and relating them to the resource-based view and the growth of the firm. Spin-outs, and acquisitions and divestitures as interlinked events have rarely been focused on in the literature, while they remain frequent phenomena in practice.

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Open marketing as conceptualized in this paper refers to how external parties take part in strategic, integrative marketing activities. To distinguish this more recent trend in marketing from traditional meanings of marketing, the paper provides a typology on roles and role keepers in marketing. Four types of roles and role keepers are outlined: marketing as 1) solely being performed by actors in the supplier company communicating offerings, 2) an activity shared among functions of the supplier company, 3) external parties communicating offerings, and 4) external parties contributing to strategic marketing. Using the concept of ‘roles’ in marketing helps to structure activities and actors – or roles and role keepers – and provides a basis for understanding that marketing results from what is done, not merely from who performs it. The paper underlines how new ways of conducting business also have implications for a company’s marketing beyond its borders.

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