Open and social: portraying the resilient, social and competitive, upcoming enterprise

Ferran Vendrell-Herrero, Marco Opazo, Josip Marić

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This article seeks to characterize and assess a new type of resilient, socially conscious and competitive enterprise that simultaneously encompasses open and social innovation – aligning both business and social outcomes – and which will gain increasing importance in post-pandemic competitiveness.

A mixed method approach based on sequential deductive triangulation analysis (QUAN?qual) is used. First, data gathered from the Chilean innovation survey is used to quantify the percentage of firms implementing open and social innovation simultaneously, and to assess their relative performance in relation to other types of innovative firms. Second, a qualitative multiple-case study analysis reveals the perceptions of senior managers regarding the applicability of this approach in terms of building resilience and strengthening future competitiveness in line with sustainable development goals.

Social innovation is a relatively rare event (7.2% of firms in the sample). While social innovation occurs equally in monopolistic and perfectly competitive industries, the authors’ findings suggest that in order to adopt social and open innovation effectively, firms need to set entry barriers such as economies of scale. On the other hand, open innovation is a more common event (15.4% of firms in the sample), which correlates closely with absolute and relative performance indicators. Moreover, the results suggest that open innovation enables a greater understanding of societal needs, thus making social innovation more effective.

Research limitations/implications
Theoretical developments coupled with descriptive and qualitative evidence reveal the innovative capabilities that up-and-coming enterprises may possess. The findings suggest that at times of far-reaching technological, social and political change, enterprises should share some of their knowledge and resources with wider society. Only then will more equal, resilient and cohesive societies be built.

This article combines two seemingly unrelated literature streams (open and social innovation) in order to elucidate the enterprise of tomorrow, which will be capable of achieving sustainable development whilst reaching high levels of competitiveness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Early online date4 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Mar 2022


  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • mixed methods
  • open innovation
  • social innovation
  • sustainable development goals (SDGs)


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