Researchers have shown increased interest in open innovation – that is, the inflow and outflow of ideas, or the collaborative efforts of innovating – while previous research on acquisitions of innovative firms has foremost focused on the inflow only. Open innovation, however, introduces several new challenges related to acquisitions of such firms, not the least related to intellectual property rights and innovative skills that may be distributed among several parties. This paper explores what issues the literature on open innovation and acquisitions deals with related to acquisitions in open innovation environments.
A systematic literature review is conducted to achieve the purpose of the paper. Two main questions are addressed. First, how can acquisitions be understood in relation to open innovation? Second, what does the open innovation literature say on matters of distributed innovations in relation to acquisitions?
The paper concludes that there is a quite limited amount of research concerning itself with open innovation and acquisitions combined. Furthermore, acquisitions are for the most part seen as a means to reach innovation in transaction-based transfers between parties.
With acquisitions of innovative firms, in general, being seen as an important means to reach new ideas, while open innovation is on the rise, the juxtaposing of these phenomena would be of high practical and theoretical relevance to study further.
Emerald Group Publishing , 2016. 31-58 p.