Insights into the relationship between open innovation and external knowledge acquisition in technology-based South Korean SMEs




Open innovation, acquisition of external knowledge, SMEs, technology-based companies, South Korea


Objective: To analyze evidence of the logic of open innovation in South Korean SMEs operating in the information technology segment, considering as a reference the main elements used by them in the processes of acquiring external knowledge (CE).

Methodology: The method used is qualitative, exploratory and interpretative, employing a systematic literature review to develop the research instruments. The fieldwork was supported by 9 semi-structured interviews with managers/professionals from the 7 SMEs investigated, and was carried out in the Seoul region, South Korea. Content analysis and the Atlas TI program were used to analyze the data. To discuss the results, the Snowball search method was used, supported by Google Scholar and Chatgpt 4.0 to organize the relationship between the results.

Results: The analysis of CE acquisition processes used in South Korean SMEs required the construction of analytical references based on the theories used. The analysis revealed evidence of the logic of open innovation in the EC acquisition processes of SMEs. Relevant aspects were also identified regarding the management and processes of EC acquisition among SMEs, which can be recovered as contributions to the academic debate and management practices .

Originality/value: Studies dealing with the relationship between open innovation and absorptive capacity, especially in a technologically advanced environment such as the ICT segment in South Korea, are not very common. In addition to these particular empirical conditions, the theoretical field provided relevant connections between open innovation and ACAP, which constitute opportunities for future studies.


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Author Biographies

Park Suhyeon , Hankuk University of Foreign Studies - South Korea

Doctoral Student

Roberto Lima Ruas, Nove de Julho University - Uninove / Sao Paulo (SP)

Ph Doctor

Leticia Oliveira Ouros, Technology College - FATEC - Sao Caetano (SP)

Master Degree. Technology College - FATEC - São Caetano (SP)


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How to Cite

Suhyeon , P., Ruas, R. L., & Oliveira Ouros, L. (2023). Insights into the relationship between open innovation and external knowledge acquisition in technology-based South Korean SMEs. International Journal of Innovation, 11(2), e25375.