The close bond between the management of projects and innovation was well understood in the 1950s when pioneering organizations created new structures, techniques, and processes to manage complex and highly uncertain research and development projects in technologically advanced weapons and defence-related industries. Over subsequent decades, there have been some points of convergence when researchers investigated the nexus of innovation and project management, such as Japanese product development practices in the 1980s. But in the main, the literatures on project and innovation management followed distinct, largely self-contained trajectories of theoretical, professional, and practical development. In recent years, however, there has been a strong convergence and cross-fertilization of ideas between innovation and project management. A new wave of research is investigating the different ways in which organizations use projects to manage the uncertainties associated with innovation processes and outcomes.
Oliver Alexy and Linus Dahlander
This article provides an overview of the literature on the management of open innovation. Elaborating on what exactly ‘open’ innovation comprises, this article integrates efforts by scholars who have studied this topic from a variety of perspectives. In doing so this article highlights that despite the virtues of openness having been stressed by much of the literature in this field, many companies still struggle to be successful with their open innovation strategies. A big question therefore for both theory and practice is under which contingencies openness is beneficial, and the article reviews internal and external factors that shape the rewards companies can derive. This results in a number of theoretical and managerial implications and suggestions for avenues of future research.