Berlin session 6

“Open Innovation Enabled by Emerging Technologies: What are the Implications for New Business Models?”

Chairs: Maya Hoveskog, Emma Incze, Fawzi Halila, Markus Raatikainen, Stephen Davies, and Antony Upward

This session proposal aims to attract papers that shed light on the interplay between new business models and open innovation (OI) enabled by emerging technologies.

The emergence of vertically disintegrated networks of innovation that connect actors into ecosystems (Chesbrough and Vanhaverbeke, 2018) require firms to modify or even radically change their existing innovating methods. As a result, innovation processes are slowly becoming more and more open in order to benefit from collaborative networks and OI. Chesbrough & Bogers (2014) define OI as “a distributed innovation process based on purposively managed knowledge flows across organizational boundaries” (p. 17). They emphasize that through the process of OI firms combine internal and external ideas into products, platforms and systems. And that the role of business models in that OI process is to define requirements for these products, platforms and systems in order to create and capture value. The existing literature on OI and sustainable innovation, as Rauter et al. (2017) revealed, covers nearly all aspects of the firm and has investigated aspects related to firms’ innovation processes, firms’ internal innovation systems with focus on strategy and culture as well as actors in the firms’ external innovation systems including cooperation factors and methods for OI.

OI is particularly relevant to the processes and methods of designing new business models, given the complex nature of this work that requires the inclusion of multiple world-views and perspectives. OI can facilitate the emergence of a diverse ecosystem of people, organizations, and sectors with sufficient trust and understanding of mutual and collective self-interest for co-creation, exploration and exploitation of the firms’ innovative potential. OI is well positioned to facilitate an agreement on a set of shared value propositions in the value network and also systematically uncover the increasingly financially material new opportunities and increasing risks of the mega-forces of change which emerge from the current innovation techniques (de Boer et al., 2012; McDonough, 2002; Ing, 2017).

Globally impactful and new business models are characterized by innovation and collaboration between wider set of stakeholders, taking a long-term perspective, striving towards achieving strong sustainability (Neumayer, 2013). This requires that the processes and outcomes of innovation (e.g. products, services, business models) are aligned with a mixture of ecological and social criteria, here called “design principles” (e.g. the Natural Step’s sustainability principles) formulated with help of latest natural science (Broman and Robèrt, 2017; Steffen et. al, 2018).

OI enabled by technologies which are still early in their lifecycle, here labeled as emerging technologies, can be considered as novel means to connect networks of stakeholders and enable them to start wider co-creation for explicitly applying those “design principles”. However, there is still scarce evidence and very little is known about how firms use OI in order to fuel sustainable innovations and new business models (Rauter et al., 2017; Bogers Chesbrough and Moedas, 2018). Therefore, for submission to this session, the following topics and questions (non-exclusive list) are suggested:

  • Process – How does OI take place in multiple levels of analysis such business unit, organizational/firm, inter-organizational, market, community/region? What is the role and implications of outside-in and inside-out OI for new business models? How can newly emerging Systemic-Design theory, methods, techniques, practices and tools inform the OI process for sustainable innovation and new business models?
  • Degree of openness – What determines the degree of openness over time in relation to value co-creation? What are the type of organizations (low tech or high tech, NGOs or for profit) that engage in OI for sustainable innovation and new business models and how they differ in terms of degree of openness?
  • Alignment – How does taking an OI approach change the nature of strategy making and management of organizations? How can OI enable new business models that contribute to, and go beyond, the realization of the sustainable development goals? How to align the OI processes and the design of organization’s new business models (the content) that are constrained and enabled by “design principles”?
  • Governance – How do we ensure appropriate identification, convening, engagement and governance of stakeholders in the OI process and what are the implications for new business models? How firms practice OI in ecosystems and platforms for value co-creation? How can firms balance, in OI governance arrangements, the tension between formal (e.g. contracts) and informal (e.g. trust) mechanisms?

The session is open to theoretical, conceptual, and empirical research papers (qualitative or quantitative) from a variety of industrial contexts, with a common thread and contribution to inform the interplay between new business models towards the normative goal of flourishing (Broman et al., 2017; Upward & Jones, 2016) and OI enabled by emerging technologies.


Contact information:

Maya Hoveskog
Halmstad University



Bogers, M., Chesbrough, H., & Moedas, C. (2018). Open innovation: research, practices, and policies. California Management Review, 60(2), 5-16.

Broman, G. I., & Robèrt, K.-H. (2017). A framework for strategic sustainable development. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(1), 17–31.

Broman, G., Robèrt, K.-H., Collins, T. J., Basile, G., Baumgartner, R. J., Larsson, T., & Huisingh, D. (2017). Science in support of systematic leadership towards sustainability. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 1–9.

Chesbrough, H. & Bogers, M. (2014). Explicating Open Innovation: Clarifying an Emerging Paradigm for Understanding Innovation,” in New Frontiers in Open Innovation, ed. H. Chesbrough, W. Vanhaverbeke, and J. West (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 3-28,

Chesbrough, H.& Vanhaverbeke, W. (2018). Open Innovation and Public Policy in the EU with implications for SMEs. World Scientific Book Chapters 455-492.

de Boer, Y., van Bergen, B., McKenzie, M., Averchenkova, A., Gladwin, T. N., Lyon, T., & Bunch, R. (2012). Expect the Unexpected: Building Business Value in a Changing World (pp. 1–180). KPMG International. Retrieved from

Ing, D. (2017). Open Innovation Learning: Theory-building on open sourcing while private sourcing. Coevolving Innovations Inc.

McDonough, W., & Braungart, M. (2002). Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. New York City, New York, U.S.A.: North Point Press.

Neumayer, E. (2003). Weak versus strong sustainability: exploring the limits of two opposing paradigms, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Rauter, R., Perl-Vorbach, E., & Baumgartner, R. J. (2017). Is open innovation supporting sustainable innovation? Findings based on a systematic, explorative analysis of existing literature. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 11(2-3), 249-270.

Steffen, W., Rockström, J., Richardson, K., Lenton, T.M., Folke, C., Liverman, D., Summerhayes, C.P., Barnosky, A.D., Cornell, S.E., Crucifix, M. and Donges, J.F. (2018). Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(33), 8252–825941.

Upward, A., & Jones, P. (2016). An ontology for strongly sustainable business models: Defining an enterprise framework compatible with natural and social science. Organization & Environment, 29(1), 97-123.