Open Innovations in Supply Chain Relationships: Analysis of a Creative Sector

  • Prof. Dr. Maria Rosaria Marcone School of Economics, Marche Polytechnic University, P. le Martelli, n. 8, 60121 Ancona, Italy
Keywords: supply chain, risk management, open innovation, new process-product re-engineering


The work focuses on the development of innovative supply relationships that allow the use of openness innovations. At the same time, firms that want to implement these innovations must redesign their production processes. The research is based on an in-depth study of 10 business cases of medium-sized firms belonging to a clothing sub-sector, that of knitwear. The findings have important managerial implications considering that the innovative supply chain processes, in which a leading role is assumed by firms operating in the so-called traditional manufacturing sectors, generate an increase in flexibility of the entire supply chain.


Amid, A., Ghodsypour, S. H., O’Brien, C. (2011), “A weighted max-min model for fuzzy multi-objective supplier selection in a supply chain”, International Journal of Production Economics, 131, pp. 139-145.

Appleyard, M., Chesbrough, H. (2017), “The dynamics of open strategy: from adoption to reversion”, Long Range Planning, 50 (3), pp. 310-321

Barney J. (2012), “Purchasing, supply chain management, and sustained competitive advantage: The relevance of resource-based theory”, Journal of Supply Chain Management, 48 (2), 3-6.

Bäckstrand, J., Halldórsson, Á. (2019), “Engaged Scholar(ship) in purchasing and supply management (PSM): Creative tension or squeezed in the middle?”, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 25 (4), 1-14.

Bican, P., Brem, A. (2020), “Managing innovation performance: Results from industry-spanning explorative study on R&D key measures”, Creative Innovation Management, 29 (2), pp. 268-291.

Chesbrough, H., Lettl, C., Ritter, T. (2018), “Value creation and value capture in open innovation”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 35 (6), pp. 930-938.

Corsaro D. Snehota I. (2010), “Searching for relationship value in business markets: Are we missing something?”, Industrial Marketing Management, 39 (6), 986-995.

Eggert A., Kleinaltenkamp M., Kashyap V. (2019), “Mapping value in business markets: An integrative framework”, Industrial Marketing Management, 79 (May), 13-30.

Eisenhardt, K. M., Graebner, M. E. (2007), “Theory Building from Cases: Opportunities and Challenges”, Academy of Management Journal, 50 (1), pp. 25-32.

Ellram, L. M., Murfield, L. U. (2019), “Supply Chain Management in industrial marketing-relationships matter”, Industrial Marketing Management, 79 (May), pp. 36-45.

Ellram, L. M. (1996), “The use of the case study method in logistics research”, Journal of Business Logistics, 17 (2), pp. 93-138.

Flynn, B.B., Huo, B., Zhao, X. (2010), “The impact of supply chain integration on performance: a contingency and configuration approach”, Journal of Operations Management, 28 (1), 58-pp. 71.

Gligor D. M., Esmark C. L., Hocomb M. C. (2015), “Performance outcomes of supply chain agility: When should you agile?”, Journal of Operations Management, 33-34 (1), 71-82.

Goffin, K., Mitchell, R. (2005), Innovation management: strategy and implementation using the pentathlon framework (2nd ed.), New York, N.Y: Palgrave McMillan.

Greco, M., Grimaldi, M., Cricelli, L. (2016), “An analysis of the open innovation effect on firm performance”, European Management Journal, 34 (5), pp. 501-516.

Heij, C.V., Volberda, H.W., Van den Bosch, F.A.J., Hollen, R.M.A. (2020), “How to leverage the impact of R&D on product innovation? The moderating effect of Management innovation”, R&D Management, 50 (2), pp. 277-294.

Henneberg, S., Mouzas, S., Naudé, P. (2010), “Sense-making and management in business networks: Some observations, considerations, and a research agenda”, Industrial Marketing Management, 39 (3), pp. 355-360.

Hernandez-Vivanco, A., Cruz-Cazares, C., Bernardo, M. (2018), “Openness and management systems integration: Pursuing innovation benefits”, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 49 (July-September), pp. 76-90.

Johannessen, I. A., Mcarthur, P. W., Jonassen, J. R. (2015), “Informal leadership redundancy: balancing structure and flexibility in subsea operations”, Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31 (3), pp. 409-423.

Johnsen T. E. (2019), “Purchasing and supply management in an industrial marketing perspective”, Industrial Marketing Management, 69 (January), 91-97.

Lin, S. (2018), “The structural characteristics of innovation ecosystem: a fashion case”, European Journal of Innovation Management, 21 (4), pp. 620-635

Linder, C., Sperber, S. (2019), “Towards a deeper understanding of the emergence of process innovations: Which role do inter-organisational learning and internal knowledge exploitation play?”, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 53, pp. 33-48.

Marullo, C., Di Minin, A., De Marco, C., Piccaluga, A. (2020), “Is open innovation always the best for SMESs? An exploratory analysis at the project level”, Creative Innovation Management, 29 (2), pp. 209-223.

Möller k. K., Törrönen P. (2003), “Business suppliers ‘value creation potential: A capability-based analysis”, Industrial Marketing Management, 32 (2), 109-118.

Nasiri, M., Ukko, J., Saunila, M., Rantala, T., Rantanene, H. (2020), “Digital-related capabilities and financial performance: the mediating effect of performance measurement systems”, Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 32 (12), pp. 1393-1406.

Nonaka, I., Takeuchi, H. (1995), “The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation”. Oxford University Press, New York.

Pihlajamaa, M., Kaipia, R., Säilä, J., Tanskanen, K. (2017), “Can supplier innovations substitute for internal R&D? A multiple case study from an absorptive capacity perspective”, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 23 (4), pp. 242-255.

Remneland, W. B., Styhre, A. (2017), “Open innovation as a facilitator for corporate exploration”, International Journal of Innovation Management, 21 (6), pp. 1-20.

Saemundsson, R. J., Candi, M. (2017), “Absorptive capacity and the identification of opportunities in new technology-based firms”, Technovation, 64, pp. 43-49.

Spina G., Cainato F., Luzzini D., Ronchi S. (2013), “Past, present and future trends of purchasing and supply management: An extensive literature review”, Industrial Marketing Management, 42 (8), 1202-1212.

Sreedevi, R., and Saranga, H. (2017). “Uncertainty and supply risk: the moderating role of supply chain flexibility in risk mitigation”, International Journal of Production Economics, 193 (29), pp. 332-342.

Un, C. A., Rodriguez, A. (2018), “Learning from R&D outsourcing vs. learning by sourcing”. Technovation, nn. 72-72, pp. 24-33.

Tang, C., Tomlin, B. (2008), “The power of flexibility for mitigating supply chain risks”, International Journal of Production Economics, 116 (1), 12-27.

Walter A., Ritter T., Gemünden H. G. (2001), “Value-creation in buyer-seller relationships: Theoretical considerations and empirical results from supplier’s perspective”, Industrial Marketing Management, 30 (4), 365-377.

Wernerfelt, B. (1984), “A resource‐based view of the firm”, Strategic Management Journal, 5 (2), 171-180

West, J., Bogers, M. (2014), “Leveraging external sources of innovation: a review of research on open innovation”, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31 (4), pp. 814-831.

Whitehead, K. K., Zacharia, Z. G., Prater, E. L. (2016), “Absorptive capacity versus distributive capability: the asymmetry of knowledge transfer”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 36 (10), pp. 1308-1332.

Williamson, O. E. (1985), “The Economic Institutions of Capitalism”. Free Press: New York.

Wu, F., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2006), “Organizational Learning, Commitment, and Joint Value Creation in Interfirm relationships”, Journal of Business Research, 59(1), 81-89.

Yin, R., 2003. Applications of Case Study Research. (2nd ed.). CA: SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks.

Yu, K. K., Cadeaux, J., Song, H. (2013), “Distribution network and relationship performance: the intervening mechanism of adaptive flexibility”, Decision Sciences, 44 (5), 915-950.

How to Cite
Marcone, M. R. (2021) “Open Innovations in Supply Chain Relationships: Analysis of a Creative Sector”, Mednarodno inovativno poslovanje = Journal of Innovative Business and Management, 13(1), pp. 12-21. doi: 10.32015/JIBM/2021.13.1.12-21.
Original article