Managing the Challenges of Business-to-Business Open Innovation in Complex Projects: A Multi-stage Process Model

Andrei Gurca, Mehdi Bagherzadeh, Stefan Markovic*, Nikolina Koporcic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Research shows that knowledge sharing and system integration are two major challenges posed by openness to business partners in complex innovation projects. However, there remains limited research on the microfoundations (i.e., actions and practices) underpinning the organizational capabilities required to address these challenges. Drawing on a case study of a pioneering electric vehicle manufacturer, we develop a multi-stage process model showing how these capabilities are developed and phased out in terms of the organizational principles (e.g., hierarchical product architecture) and actions and practices (e.g., sharing knowledge by deputing staff to/from business partners). Our study contributes to the literature by taking a microfoundations approach to unpack the ‘black box’ of organizational capabilities critical for managing complex innovation projects into actions and practices, and emphasizes the importance of firms' internal preparedness for managing openness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)202-215
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 18 June 2020


  • Open innovation
  • Project complexity
  • Knowledge sharing
  • System integration
  • Microfoundations

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