Implementing digitally enabled collaborative innovation: A case study of online and offline interaction in the German automotive industry
Aalbers, Rick (H.L.)
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Aalbers, Rick, & Whelan, Eoin. (2021). Implementing digitally enabled collaborative innovation: A case study of online and offline interaction in the German automotive industry. Creativity and Innovation Management, 30(2), 368-383. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/caim.12437
In the context of implementing collaborative innovation, a range of digitally enabled infrastructures impact core organizational activities. Automotive manufacturing is one such industry where competitors now openly collaborate, facilitated through new technologies, in an effort to enhance collective innovation systems. We conducted a longitudinal case study of the first open innovation network in the German automotive industry to determine how online and offline channels interact to fuel firms' joint search for external ideas. Delving into the physical, virtual and cognitive enablers of collaborative innovation, our findings suggest that, while online platforms can help to facilitate knowledge sharing processes that promote collaborative innovation, firms implementing digitally enabled collaborative ideation need to develop additional mechanisms based on stronger offline interactions. As such, our findings contribute to a better understanding of how online technologies can facilitate knowledge sharing processes to enhance collaborative innovation.