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Role of innovation intermediaries in open innovation practices: differences between micro-small and medium-large firms

Published Online:pp 377-396

Opening the innovation process represents a new opportunity for small, medium and large firms to increase the internal innovative capacity and to raise their overall innovation performance. Although large firms still realised the higher amount of innovation, few studies have paid attention to open innovation (OI) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and how the use of OI practices in SMEs differ from large enterprises. Starting from the findings in Spithoven (2013) that SMEs can foster the introduction of new offerings through collaboration with several innovation partners and that collaboration with partners increases the likelihood that SMEs launch new products and services, we investigate through a web-based survey realised in Italy how organisational factors, strategic factors and environmental factors impact on the ability of a firm to adopt an OI approach, if size matters, and whether innovation intermediaries play a critical role in the opening process.


open innovation, innovation intermediaries, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, large firms, survey, Italy, micro firms, Italy, organisational factors, strategic factors, environmental factors