Organising new business development: Open Innovation at Degussa

S. Bröring, P. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Purpose - To analyse different organizational tools of business development used in practice. This analysis seeks to address the question of how an organization can achieve the recurring shift from exploration to exploitation and at the same time manage to balance its open and closed innovation tools. Design/methodology/approach - The empirical basis for analysing the organizational implications of open vs closed innovation is built by Creavis, the business venturing arm of Degussa AG, a specialty chemicals company headquartered in Germany. Findings - Companies face the ambiguity of creating new business options and exploiting these at a later stage. Since exploitative and explorative units require a different organizational set-up, it is difficult for a company to shift its exploratory endeavours to exploitative means. The presented case study offers an answer to this dilemma by showing how organizations manage to combine both by a unique organizational set-up allowing for an evolutionary approach of shifting exploratory work into exploitative results. Practical implications - The insights derived from the case study clearly present a way of dealing with ambidexterity in new business development. The in-depth analysis advances the understanding of how organizations may successfully conduct business development and, in particular, which organizational tools they may use. Originality/value - Is based on an original case study by . It integrates management theory with a real life example to foster management research in new business development and the particular question of how to deal with the need of organizations to combine both exploratory and exploitative units and support their interaction as well as employing different approaches to innovation, i.e. open vs closed innovation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-348
JournalEuropean Journal of Innovation Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Business formation
  • Chemical industries
  • Germany
  • Organizational innovation


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