Open Innovation


Open innovation course prepares students for innovation management in the world where innovation is democratized: developed by producers, and increasingly more by single-user individuals or firms, and in communities and innovation ecosystems. It equips students with an understanding of open and user innovation, and how new and emerging models of innovation impact the value creation and value appropriation in the face of technological changes. We will explore how organizations interact with the internal and external sources of knowledge, and the challenges in structuring internal processes to systematically benefit from these interactions. The course will facilitate the generation of insights on different approaches to organizing and facilitating open and user innovation, using real-world examples and experiences. The aim is for the students to have tools to identify which open innovation approaches are likely to succeed in markets, and how to best profit from the open innovation in entrepreneurial and established firms.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paolo Vincenzo Leone


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





"Inside the HBS Case Method"

NIVEA (A) (2015); HBS # 614042-PDF-ENG

Hippel, Eric. Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2005. (A) (2009); HBS # 608170-PDF-ENG

Mollick, Ethan. ?Tapping into the Underground.? MIT Sloan Management Review 46, no. 4 (2005) 

Open innovation at Siemens (2015); HBS # 613100-PDF-ENG

Lakhani, K.R., Lifshitz-Assaf, H. and Tushman, M.L., 2013. Open innovation and organizational boundaries: Task decomposition, knowledge distribution and the locus of innovation. In Handbook of economic organization (pp. 355-382). Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Prodigy Network: Democratizing Real Estate Design and Financing (2015); HBS # 614064-PDF-ENG 

Teaching method

The course follows a seminar format, with sessions being highly interactive, centering around discussions of the assigned material and team work. The students will need to prepare the sessions by analyzing the assigned material, and will need to prepare for the final group presentation. 

Evaluation method

The assessment will be based on individual work and group work.

The individual work consists in writing two reflection memos of two pages each (1.5 interline spacing, Times New Roman 12, 1 inch margins throughout the page), excluding references, tables, and figures. In the reflection memos, students will be asked to integrate the course material with what they learned in class. Each memo is worth 30% of the final grade.

The group work will take place mostly in class during each session. Each group will need to prepare a presentation to show with 10 Power Point slides during the last session. The group work is worth 40% of the final grade.

Participation in each session is compulsory. 

Subject matter

This course has two components. The first half of each session will be devoted to the first component; the second half to the second component.

Component 1: Open innovation Theory and Methods Through a case-based method, we will review state of the art in open and user innovation, theoretical concepts and the methods for finding innovations and organizing for open innovation. Among other topics, we will consider the lead-user method, innovation toolkits, crowdsourcing, and user communities. 

Component 2: Open Innovation Applications and Challenges We will focus on the applications of open and user innovation through a real-world project to be conducted in teams.