Research defines coopetition as a mix of cooperation and competition among firms oriented towards producing innovation, and generating net value added or economic benefit. The importance of studying the determinants of firms’ innovative behaviour, based on those coopetition relationships, has warranted increasing attention from scholars. However, the role played by micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in this process have been neglected, even as research on economic
geography, clusters, entrepreneurship, and innovation, has become pre-eminent. This represents an opportunity for scholars, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and practitioners to discuss the importance of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises in determining the innovative behaviour of government, industry, higher education institutions (HEIs), and citizens in environments that mix competition and cooperation.
Despite the importance of the institutional and network approaches explored in the literature, much remains unknown regarding the role played by the referred different types of enterprises in determining innovative and economic performance. Another gap found in the literature is concerning entrepreneurial and open innovative ecosystems. There is increasing literature suggesting reasons behind ecosystems emergence, but it fails to examine, in detail, the exact mechanisms behind it, namely, the role played by endogenous production factors (for example, human
capital, social or relational capital, organizational capital, and knowledge), using an organizational economics approach. This gap may be addressed by linking, for example, coopetition, innovative behaviour, clusters, or industrial districts. If agglomeration improves the quality of the match between government, firms, HEIs, and citizens, then clusters will ensure enduring productivity and sustainable competitive advantages.
The collection of 13 contributions is quite impressive, in the sense that congregates in the same volume several benchmarks of international practices of open innovation, revealing the importance of micro-, small-, and medium-sized firms for reinforcing the evolutionary innovation pathway undercut with established firms, public institutions, and civil society.
Research avenues are provided to scholars, policymakers and practitioners that are interested in moving forward with the open innovation paradigm, recovering the importance of the open debate devoted to the innovative nature of new entrepreneurial units, which are responsible for creating qualified work, innovations, and new specializations.