Three prominent professors at Wharton answer the compelling question, “Does Strategic Protection of Knowledge Undermine the Effectiveness of External Knowledge Sourcing” posed by three collaborative authors from collaborating universities. The report identifies standard practices used by innovators and encourages discretion in revealing proprietary information. The authors question the assumed more open innovation used by the public sector.
Three Wharton Professors released a report on February 2, 2012, questioning the open innovation techniques used by Procter & Gamble’s Connect + Develop strategy. This innovative application has already led to several successful collaborations using external influences. The open innovation process brings products to market faster and less expensively than other strategies.
Open innovation allows product developers to “identify and gain access to relevant intelligence created by other organizations.” However, the Wharton professors advise companies and managers that open innovation comes with risk. Managers must establish parameters that protect the company’s internal information in these collaborations. Businesses should “access external knowledge and seek ways to protect their own internal knowledge.” The decision on what information will be withheld from open innovation is what composes the company’s culture.