Facilitating Targeted Open Innovation by Applying Pragmatic Identity Matching


How can Targeted Open Innovation (TOI) systematically be implemented in a company or organisation? Meeting Chesbrough’s paradigm of Open Innovation, Erbach’s concept of Pragmatic Identity Matching combines the pragmatism of Charles Peirce and identity research to provide a standard operation system for TOI with broad applicability. It integrates and interrelates internal and external knowledge and resources in a transparent way. Based on the semiotic model developed by Peirce and on the understanding of identity development according to social psychology, the Matrix for Identity Matching, as the central element of Pragmatic Identity Matching, facilitates intra- and inter-organisational content integration. It represents the value-neutral integration infrastructure to provide a virtual developmental space and database for information exchange, scenario development, problem solution and innovation. The focus of this article lies in matching corporate TOI development with customer needs and market requirements to ensure acceptance of the outcome. The paper describes the theory and methodology of Pragmatic Identity Matching as a collaborative knowledge platform and interaction interface. To demonstrate its versatile applicability for TOI planning, Pragmatic Identity Matching is applied to key actors of innovation development according to the concept of the Quintuple Innovation Helix of Carayannis and Campbell. The paper concludes with a vision for developing sustainable innovation within a holistic Identity Matching infrastructure.

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Correspondence to Markus Erbach.

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Erbach, M. Facilitating Targeted Open Innovation by Applying Pragmatic Identity Matching. J Knowl Econ 7, 104–125 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13132-015-0293-0

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  • Open innovation
  • Planning
  • Identity matching
  • Innovation interface
  • Knowledge transfer