Measuring the openness of innovation is essential to understanding whether and under which conditions increasing openness is beneficial for organizations. However, no consensus has been so far achieved on which dimensions characterize the openness of innovation, which approach should be used to measure it, or which unit of analysis should be adopted. This paper proposes an approach, named ATOM (Aggregative Technique for Openness Measurement), to characterize and measure the openness of innovation, rooted in the concepts of knowledge supply (KS) and innovation practice (IP). As prescribed by the confirmation phase of theory building model, the approach has been successfully applied to a real innovation project. The paper contributes to clarifying the concept of innovation openness and attempts to improve its measurement by adopting a micro-level unit of analysis (i.e., single KS within an innovation project) as well as dimensions that extant literature considers relevant to managing external collaborations. The proposed approach can also support firms involved in an innovation project to (i) identify and measure the criticality of knowledge supplies, (ii) assess the openness of the adopted innovation practices, and (iii) support ex-post learning on the way the project was managed.
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