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Friday, November 6 • 10:45am - 11:15am
The Architecture of Open Innovation: Inbound and Outbound Paths to Museum Innovation

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Due to economic and political motives, museums have been encouraged, and sometimes pressured, to embrace innovation. As a result, innovation has rapidly become an important topic in many museum conferences, workshops, publications, and social media discussions.

This trend has made museums more interested in innovation and inspired them to model innovation in their practice. Within this context, the proposed article utilizes Henry Chesbrough’s Open Innovation theory and a case study at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to provide a framework for museum innovation. The paper will introduce the structure of Open Innovation focusing on the role of inbound and outbound paths in advancing the organization’s innovation capabilities. Chesbrough (2003) defines Open Innovation as; “a paradigm that assumes that businesses both can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, when seeking to advance their technology”.

Empirical data derived from surveys and semi-structured interviews with members of the digital team at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum has shown the existence of four Open Innovation paths including; Open Sourcing, Self-reflection, Collaboration, and Conferencing. Each path is explained with practical examples. Additionally, the research shows that the four identified Open Innovation inbound and outbound paths at Cooper Hewitt appear to be interconnected, and should probably be viewed as a whole rather than in isolation. It is noted, however, Open Innovation inbound and outbound activities can significantly differ from one museum to another. Each museum can plan their tailored Open Innovation strategies that allow the museum to innovate and effectively achieve its mission.

Finally, the paper concludes and provides some helpful tips for museums to develop an Open Innovation mindset.

avatar for Haitham Eid

Haitham Eid

Director of Museum Studies, Southern University at New Orleans

Friday November 6, 2015 10:45am - 11:15am CST
Harriet Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

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