The study findings show that the utilization of open innovation (OI) tools is effective in promoting innovation in small businesses. The study differentiated between OI tools aimed at acquiring knowledge in a unidirectional manner from external open sources of information such as Internet searches for professional information or attending professional conferences, and OI tools aimed at obtaining knowledge by interacting with other factors in the business ecosystem. Interestingly, it was found that utilization of unidirectional OI tools contributes more to the level of product innovation, while utilization of networking and external collaboration contributes more to levels of process and marketing innovation, respectively. In addition, the study clarified that these businesses maintain connections to promote innovation mainly with entities in their closest business environment, based on commercial relationships with their suppliers and customers. The empirical study was conducted through face-to-face interviews on a sample of 202 small businesses in the industry and craft sectors. The theoretical contribution of the research stems from its focus on a group of businesses that has rarely been the focus of studies on innovation. The use of face-to-face interviews as a research tool facilitated the attainment of knowledge that is generally not readily accessible. The study may contribute in a practical manner to assisting small businesses in the development and implementation of appropriate OI tools for promoting innovation and enable them to reach beyond their closest business environment.
- Small businesses
- industry and craft
- open innovation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation