Top Management Involvement in Open Innovation Processes: Learning from a Global Carmaker

  •  Elena Candelo    
  •  Diego Matricano    
  •  Mario Sorrentino    


Over the last decades, management scholars have largely investigated several aspects related to Open Innovation Processes – OIPs that concern the beginning, the diffusion and the future developments of the phenomenon, its typologies, its linkages with strategies and business models, its implementation, and even errors to be avoided when managing them. However, there is one aspect that seems to be underexplored and this deals with the involvement of top management.

OIPs, like all the other managerial activities, need to be planned and defined ex ante; implemented, launched and managed; analyzed ex post. Thus, a decisional process – pertaining the activities to be carried out, human resources to be involved, criticalities to be avoided and results to be exploited – needs to be managed. Accordingly, the research question posed herein is: How do top managers handle OIPs?

In order to respond to the above research question, a case study is presented hereinafter. This case study deals with an OIP launched by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), one of the top ten global carmakers, and concerning the car of the future. In particular, through this case study, it is rebuilt and analysed how FCA top managers have handled the whole OIP.

By leveraging on the achieved results, the paper speculates on the strong commitment that top managers need to put in practice if they aspire to make OIPs successful.

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