Authors : Elsa Grimsdottir, Ingi Runar Edvardsson
The aim of this article is to present findings on knowledge management (KM) and knowledge creation, as well as open innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Iceland. Two SME company case studies are presented in the form of a case study involving semistructured interviews with managers and selected employees and in-field observation.
Company Alpha is a software company, whereas Company Beta is a family company which produces drinks and snacks. Knowledge creation and innovation is a learning process in both companies.
The two companies show very different open-innovation models in practice. The findings regarding the two companies are in accordance with the arguments of Chiaroni et al., where they state that high-tech companies tend to prefer inside-out strategies of open innovation, whereas low-tech companies prefer outside-in strategies.
Company Alpha relates to customers late in the process, whereas Company Beta relies on knowledge from customers and suppliers and for new knowledge early on in the process.