At a purely objective level, the definition for open innovation as defined by Henry Chesbrough is - "the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation and expand the markets for external use of innovation" (Chesbrough, 2012). However, much has changed in the world of business since Chesbrough first coined the term in 2003, and the concept of open innovation has been adapted to suit modern business practice to varying degrees of success. In this essay, I aim to explore the current trends for open innovation within business, evaluate the critical challenges companies face in its adoption, and also exploring the future possibilities of open innovation and how it can be further utilized more efficiently and effectively.
Current Trends for Open Innovation
Open innovation invites a new paradigm of collaboration and co-creation into the business landscape that was not seen before. The coming of interactive web technologies and the growing interest in the consumer as an agent of co-creation has seen Chesbrough’s fundamental aspirations of open innovation questioned and open for debate. This leaves the original definition for open innovation extremely dated. Some questions asked by Gobble in her article on “Defining Open” show this disparity. She asks if it’s “open innovation to gather ideas from users and potential users – and the feed those ideas into the NPD pipeline?”, and “what does open innovation really mean in this hyper-connected, always on world?” (Gobble, 2012) For me, this translates to - as the world evolves over time, so must open innovation.
Chesbrough’s view on open innovation presumed relationships between institutions, corporations and university labs (Gobble, 2012). Reaching and interacting with consumers and individuals was never an aspect of the original concept, and yet, it has become an integral part of the open innovation process. Social media is an ever...