Adaptability through open innovation, a complexity view on selectivity

author: Milton Jorge Correia de Sousa
published: July 15, 2009,   recorded: June 2008,   views: 3184

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Today's world is characterized by increasing complexity, uncertainty and change. Several authors have found in Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) the basis for more suitable management models that should allow firms to adapt and survive under highly complex, uncertain and changing environments. The incorporation of external capabilities and knowledge through open innovation can increase an organization's adaptability because it amplifies significant differences and increases the number of transforming exchanges, through a higher interaction with external system agents. However, too much difference can generate a large number of possibilities, reducing momentum for action, and too many exchanges limits individual behaviour. Therefore, it is important to be selective so that organizations in pursuit of adaptability through open innovation don't fall into chaos. By using the example of the Engineering and Tooling sector, this paper explores the impact of open innovation on adaptability and the importance of selectivity and knowledge brokers.

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