Integrating the management of socio-ethical factors into industry innovation: towards a concept of Open Innovation 2.0

Thomas B. Long, Vincent Blok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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To create a sustainable future, innovations are needed that integrate socio-ethical issues. Responsible innovation provides a method for managing these issues, and tries to ensure that innovation is conducted for and with society. The application of responsible innovation in industry contexts, where many of these innovations are developed, is limited by challenges related to dominant business logics, stakeholder management problems and resource constraints. Open innovation is an approach more commonly employed within industry contexts, which involves activities that overlap with responsible innovation dimensions and practices. This means that open innovation could represent a way to integrate the management of socio-ethical factors into industry contexts in a less disruptive and costly way. This paper explores the extent to which open innovation and responsible innovation overlap and could be compatible. Both open innovation and responsible innovation are reviewed theoretically before an empirical enquiry is launched through semi-structured interviews (n=11) with entrepreneurs developing innovations in the context of climate-smart agriculture in Europe. We find evidence for compatibility between exploratory open innovation activities and dimensions of responsible innovation. Results indicate that the management of socio-ethical issues through open innovation requires sensitivity to ethical issues and a motivation to include ethical considerations strategically in innovation processes. These findings are incorporated into a provisional extended open innovation model for the management of socio-ethical in industry contexts - an Open Innovation 2.0.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-486
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Food and Agribusiness Management Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • responsible innovation
  • open innovation
  • climate-smart agriculture

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