A Novel Metaphor Concerning the Terminology of Open Innovation

  •  Shanta Rajapaksha Yapa    
  •  R Senathiraja    
  •  Ilkka Kauranen    


The objective of this article is to present a metaphor concerning the terminology of open innovation. This metaphor will help both academics and practitioners in getting a deeper understanding of the terms and their relationships in this emerging field. An electrical circuit is used as the metaphor. In it, the following open innovation terms are included: inbound open innovation, outbound open innovation, sequential coherence, dynamic innovation capabilities, knowledge flow, absorptive capacity, organizational inertia, and innovation performance. A corresponding term for each one of these open innovation terms is given in the metaphor. Within an organization, open innovation involves the internal exploration of external knowledge and external exploitation of internal knowledge. Open innovation is gaining wide attention of researchers as it impacts innovation performance of organizations.  Systematic metaphor analysis is a qualitative research method. A metaphor is an implicit comparison in which a word or phrase that originally denotes a certain object or concept is applied to another. Time tested relationships among variables in the metaphor of electric circuit offer new insights in the domain of open innovation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.