Permeability of Firm Boundaries: Open innovation and governance of contractual relations​

John Hagedoorn, UNU-MERIT

Applying a methodology of ideal types, we interpret existing empirical evidence that suggests that firms increasingly transition from parallel ideal types of closed innovation and classical contracting towards more open innovation and more relational contracting. In order to contribute to a better understanding of such a change, we identify first-order theoretical dimensions along which firms transition from one set of ideal types to potentially new ideal types. We propose that firm boundaries can be interpreted as a common theoretical denominator of both sets of ideal types. We apply a multi-dimensional perspective in terms of transactional, political, social, and resource boundaries, and discuss second-order underlying mechanisms related to open innovation that lead to increased permeability of such boundary types. We also demonstrate how such underlying mechanisms are mirrored in firms' transitions from classical to more relational contracting. This conjoint analysis of increasing permeability or firm boundaries with respect to the organization as well as governance of their innovation process leads to a set of 'truth statements' that offer a primary description of organizational attributes of a new set of firms that increasingly engage in open innovation.


About the speaker
John Hagedoorn is currently professor of Strategy and International Business at Royal Holloway, University of London, School of Management, professorial fellow at UNU - MERIT in Maastricht, and honorary professor (emeritus) at Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics. He was a visiting scholar and visiting professor at SPRU (University of Sussex) in 1983-1984, CEPR (Stanford University) 1996, CISTP (The George Washington University) 1997, the Haas School of the University of California at Berkeley 1998-1999, the University of Paris 1999 and the business school of the National University of Singapore 2004. His research is published in a wide variety of journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Business History, Business History Review, Global Strategy Journal, Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Industrial Organization, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Media Economics, Journal of Common Market Studies, Managerial and Decision Economics, Organization Studies, Research Policy, Review of Industrial Organization, Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Organization, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, Technovation, and World Development.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 28 January 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30


UNU-MERIT