Purpose: The increasing pace of technological progress, hyper-competitiveness, volatility of markets, dominant in the contemporary society all cause signifcant changes in the approach to innovation and lead to the emergence of a new generation of models of innovation processes. An open innovation model is based on a systematic search for as well as research and use of various sources of opportunities for innovations that offer commercial potential. The main objective of this article is to analyse the possibilities of application of models of open innovation in management of micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Poland. This article intends to explore the essence of open innovation by values, its inception, and conditions for its implementation in the management process specifc to the SME sector.
Methodology: The study has been based on in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted among business managers/owners responsible for innovation development of SMEs in Poland (16 interviews in total).
Findings: SMEs usually do not have their own research and development (R&D) departments, but need external support and R&D solutions tailored to their needs. SMEs need innovations and skills, which requires close cooperation with different partners. In order for SMEs to beneft from innovation processes, a structured cooperation not only with scientists and researchers, but also with other market partners needs to be established and intensifed. It changes both the creation of intellectual capital and the ways to manage it.
Originality: The new approach in the context of management of innovation is now one of the key challenges faced by smaller businesses. It is necessary to make changes in the approach to integration of external sources of innovation with the potential and resources at the disposal of a given company.