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Distributed ledger technology as a catalyst for open innovation adoption among small and medium-sized enterprises

Jain, Geetika; Hashimy, Loha; Treiblmaier, Horst

Distributed ledger technology as a catalyst for open innovation adoption among small and medium-sized enterprises Thumbnail


Loha Hashimy

Horst Treiblmaier


Open innovation and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are both based on the underlying principles of distribution and sharing. While open innovation is about sharing knowledge to improve innovation processes and performance, DLT is a distributed data ledger that is utilized to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure immutability, traceability, security, and transparency. In this paper, we investigate the barriers to open innovation currently faced by small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that DLT can solve. To achieve this goal, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 experts in open innovation and DLTs from Spain, Germany, Australia, and India. The results of our exploratory study show that DLTs can help to solve several problems, including external barriers, such as problems with contracts, financing, lack of trust, raw materials, lack of information, domestic and international market limitations, IP rights, and governmental regulations as well as bureaucracy. Internal challenges include insufficient funding, organizational systems that are out of date, and lack of trust. When it comes to difficulties associated with the management of open innovation, external barriers are frequently caused by customers' demands, while internal barriers are frequently caused by organizational culture or human nature, which cannot be improved by DLTs. Finally, SMEs might face new obstacles when integrating DLTs, such as integration problems, complex transition phases, and high setup costs as well as problems with attracting and retaining qualified employees.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 11, 2021
Publication Date May 1, 2021
Journal The Journal of High Technology Management Research
Print ISSN 1047-8310
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 32
Issue 1
Article Number 100405
Pages 100405 - 100405
Publisher URL


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