Knowledge-based competition is leading to collaboration with partners and even competitors as firms pursue appropriate knowledge for innovation which has become a strategic imperative. Inbound open innovation helps increase the innovativeness of the firm by monitoring the operating environment and enabling it to source knowledge from collaborative partners. On the basis of in-depth interviews with senior managers and the knowledge-based view of the firm, this study examines the extent to which inbound open innovation activities contribute to collaborative innovation. Then, using a sample of 224 surveys representative of a cross-section of medium to large firms involved in collaborative ventures, the theoretical model is empirically examined. The results show that collaborative creativity, learning and knowledge stock are critical core inputs of collaborative innovation, with the support of formal coordination mechanisms and internal search processes, such as structural centralisation, formality and absorptive capacity.
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