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Open Innovation in the French Automotive Industry: the case of a purchasing function detecting external knowledge and triggering its absorption
This paper investigates the mechanisms that trigger a sequence of external knowledge absorption in an innovative automotive firm. The data was collected through an ethnographic-inspired methodology conducted as an embedded scholar within the Innovation Purchasing Direction of this firm, a dawning and rare function. The results of our investigations show that the trigger of absorptive capacity is made up of two sequences of activation of the same knowledge related mechanisms linked by one people-related mechanism. First, the external knowledge is selected, adopted, contextualized and preserved by Innovation Purchasing actors that will enroll Research and Development actors to become the internal holder of the external knowledge. Second, together with these holders, the knowledge-related mechanisms are activated leading to the recognition of the value of the external knowledge by the recipient firm.