Open Innovation in Enterprise Strategies in Central and Eastern Europe: The Case of Estonia

Marianne Kallaste, Christos Kalantaridis, Urve Venesaar


The institutional environment shapes the structure of political, social and economic
incentives and influences the use of open innovation strategies by enterprises. The aim of the
current article is to explore open innovation processes in the context of Central and Eastern
Europe using the example of Estonia. As a methodology, 100 telephone interviews were
conducted using a semi-structured questionnaire. Proximity is used as an organising
concept for explaining knowledge flows in the innovation of enterprises. The research shows
that innovative enterprises draw knowledge from external sources, the relationships of
innovative enterprises rely on weak ties and their open innovation is supported by
technological and cognitive proximity. The results of the analysis can be used to understand
enterprise strategies in other Central and Eastern European countries as well as how
knowledge is accessed by enterprises in their innovation process, what type of knowledge
and where it is sourced. Future research should broaden the scope of studying the use of
open innovation strategies by enterprises using broader samples, capturing firms in different
sectors and countries.

JEL Classifications: L26, O30, O31
Keywords: open innovation, enterprise strategies, SME, knowledge flows, institutional development

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