Innovation intermediaries: Managerial barriers to successful collaborations

Letizia Mortara, A.H.W.M. Roijakkers, W.M. Ooms

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic


Innovation intermediaries are important players in open innovation (OI) networks. However, according to a recent open innovation practice survey, firms’ interest in intermediary support is declining. Are firms struggling to capture value from interactions with intermediaries? To better understand the micro-foundations underpinning intermediary-client relationships, we study enablers and barriers to successful partnerships between intermediaries and clients, at different stages of their collaboration (before the collaboration starts and during the collaboration). In our multiple-case study we combine 45 interviews with consultants working for intermediaries and OI managers at clients in several European countries (the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and France) and the United States. Before the start of relationships, most enablers and barriers are related to the possibility of capturing value from intermediary-client relationships. Perceptions thereof are at times guided by social pressure, personal confidence (and experience), and trust. During the relationships, such factors are attributed less importance. Here, most enablers or barriers are related to the extent to which intermediaries are able to bridge client firms’ OI skills gap. We contribute to the literature on innovation intermediaries by offering a relationship perspective, and by informing our framework with related literatures that are underutilized in studying open innovation relationships to date, such as the alliance management literature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventR&D Management conference - Milan, Italy
Duration: 30 Jun 20184 Jul 2018


ConferenceR&D Management conference
Internet address


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