Open innovation has emerged as a new and interesting research area, and with this paper we wish to contribute to the research on open innovation by proposing a more holistic approach to openness that includes the internal sphere of openness. We use data from 170 Danish SMEs in the high-tech and medium high-tech industries and study the moderating role of internal openness on the relationship between external openness and performance. Our results show that the internal spheres of transformative and exploitative learning moderate the effect of external openness on performance and a model with the interaction effects of these variables gives significantly better prediction power. This indicates that internal knowledge practices are important for a firm's ability to leverage open innovation strategies.
open innovation; internal openness, external openness; absorptive capacity