Open innovation in the public sector: Exploring the role and dynamics of public open innovation intermediaries
Item statusRestricted Access
Embargo end date02/12/2022
The aim of this thesis is to explore the role and dynamics of open innovation intermediaries in the public sector. Specifically, the study examines their functions and critically evaluates their benefits and the barriers to their intermediary activities. Open innovation intermediaries are regarded as organisations, platforms and agents that mediate and broker collaborative relationships between parties. From a private sector standpoint, these types of intermediaries are also construed by innovation management scholars as matchmakers who connect innovation seekers and innovation providers, facilitators of collaboration and agents of technology commercialisation. However, an understanding of the role of open innovation intermediaries from a public sector perspective remains elusive. Although, few public management researchers have explored the functions of open innovation intermediaries in the public sector, there is paucity of knowledge about their dynamics in terms of their intermediary processes, the contextual characteristics, and the implications of their activities on public sector open innovation. Against this backdrop, this research study adopted a qualitative research methodology and used a case study approach in exploring the role of four public open innovation intermediaries. Semi structured interviews, non-participant observations and documentary analysis constituted the data gathering methods while analysis took an inductive form in which themes and categories emerged from the data as findings of the study. Findings revealed three main benefits and functions of public open innovation intermediaries and four types of barriers to their intermediary processes in the public sector. This thesis makes a theoretical contribution by explicating the dynamics of public open innovation intermediary processes. It conceptualises these processes as two forms: social networking and seeker-solver intermediary processes and explains their contextual characteristics by pointing out their commonalities and differences. Furthermore, the study expands the understanding of the role of public open innovation intermediaries and enlightens on the differences between a private sector oriented open innovation intermediary and a public sector open innovation intermediary.