How family firms execute open innovation strategies: The Loccioni case
De Massis A
Di Minin A
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Purpose - This paper aims to shed light on how family firms execute open innovation strategies by managing internal and external knowledge flows. Design/methodology/approach - First, through a comprehensive literature review, the paper identifies the barriers to the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in open innovation processes. Second, it presents and discusses the results of an exploratory case study on Loccioni, an Italian family firm providing high-tech measurement solutions, highlighting how this family firm managed to overcome the barriers in executing an open innovation strategy. Findings - The case study shows that Loccioni faced specific challenges in acquiring and transferring knowledge in its open innovation processes and developed two idiosyncratic capabilities - labelled imprinting and fraternization - that helped the firm overcome the barriers to knowledge acquisition and transfer. The analysis shows that these two capabilities are enabled by the distinctive goals and social capital characterizing family firms. Originality/value - The paper creates a link between open innovation and family business research with an empirically grounded model illustrating how the idiosyncratic capabilities of a family firm help overcome the critical barriers to the acquisition and transfer of knowledge in executing an open innovation strategy.
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