The open eco-innovation mode. An empirical investigation of eleven European countries

Alberto Marzucchi, Sandro Montresor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

164 Citations (Scopus)


This paper deals with the open innovation mode in the environmental realm and investigates the effects that knowledge sourcing has on the environmental innovations (EIs) of firms. Using the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) 2006–2008, we refer to the firm’s probability of both introducing an EI and extending the number of EI-typologies adopted. We estimate the impact of the ‘depth’ and ‘breadth’ of knowledge sourcing. In addition, we test for the moderating role of the firm’s absorptive capacity. Knowledge sourcing has a positive impact on both types of EI-performance. However, a broad sourcing strategy reveals a threshold above which the propensity to introduce an EI diminishes. Cognitive constraints in processing knowledge inputs that are too diverse may explain this result. Absorptive capacity generally helps firms to turn broadly sourced external knowledge into EI. However, internal innovation capabilities and knowledge socialization mechanisms seem to diminish the EI impact of knowledge sourced through deep external interactions. The possibility of mismatches between the management of internal and external knowledge, and of problems in distributing the decision-makers’ attention between the two, may explain this result.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1093
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Environmental Innovation
  • open innovation


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