CBS Professor awarded best paper prize

CBS Professor Keld Laursen and Professor Ammon Salter from University of Bath have been awarded the prestigious 2021 Dan and Mary Lou Schendel Best Paper Prize for “Open for Innovation: The Role of Openness in Explaining Innovation Performance among Manufacturing Firms.” 


Photo: Shutterstock

First published in 2006, the paper is now regarded as a pioneering study in the early days of open innovation research and acknowledged as a key linchpin in the evolution of the open innovation literature.
Over the past 15 years, it has become one of the most highly cited articles published in Strategic Management Journal and now appears on numerous syllabi of graduate courses in technology strategy.

Keld Laursen og Ammon Salter
Professor Keld Laursen og professor Ammon Salter

Professor Keld Laursen reflects on what impact he thought the paper would have when it was first published.  

We were hoping that the paper would become impactful within the academic literature on knowledge search and open innovation. It was written as part of a debate on firms’ external relations and was intended to be a contribution to the academic literature on that topic.
At the time when we wrote the paper, we believed that it could become impactful because Henry Chesbrough’s (2003) timely book on the factors that led to the rise of open innovation as a critical mode of innovation was becoming influential, and because of the novelty of the approach we took.  
We added the search perspective and an analysis that pointed both to the positive effects of open innovation, but also pointed to the possibility that firms sometimes “over search” their external environment and that open innovation therefore can have negative effects on innovation output. Moreover, we offered a quantitative analysis to support our claims.
Professor Keld Laursen describes how the paper has since helped shape business practices.  
The motivation by SMS for awarding us the prize implies that a very large number of graduate students from all over the world have read the paper as part of their curriculum. In this way, the paper has undoubtedly had substantial impact on open innovation practices in firms as most of these students have pursued careers in business firms. Only a very small number of papers from the academic literature (on business) gets this sort of exposure.  
In addition, the paper is an important part of a larger body of literature on open innovation that has been widely disseminated in non-academic outlets and forums targeted at innovation strategy practitioners. The link between open innovation researchers and industrial practice has always been strong due to the efforts made by open innovation researchers, such as (among others) Henry Chesbrough at Berkeley.  
We believe that our paper has played a critical role in shaping business practice as an important part of the large body of literature on open innovation.    

To read more about the award and hear more about the research paper, watch the video with Professor Laursen and Professor Salter here:


The page was last edited by: Sekretariat for Ledelse og Kommunikation // 09/27/2021