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Tesi etd-03112018-134307

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
email address
Implementing Open Innovation:The Conceptual Design of an Integrated ICT Platform in Leonardo's Defence Systems Division
Settore scientifico disciplinare
Corso di studi
tutor Prof.ssa Pellegrini, Luisa
tutor Prof. Aloini, Davide
Parole chiave
  • ICT platform
  • inbound Open Innovation
  • Conceptual design
Data inizio appello
Riassunto analitico
Theoretical background and purpose: Implementing inbound OI implies the definition of a set of variables: the “who”, the “when” and the “how” issues. As regards the “how”, little attention has still been devoted to the set of tools firms can use to support the implementation of the inbound OI process and, hence, to how firms can create a positive environment that encourages people at leveraging existing technological capabilities outside the boundaries of the organization or at capturing and benefiting from external sources of knowledge to enhance current technological developments. Within the “how” issue, ICT has much to contribute, in fact, it can foster activities, such as for instance communication among different actors, cooperation, and knowledge sharing and creation. The empirical evidence shows that ICT platforms have exponentially grown during the last years, but the existing platforms support only specific OI phases or sub-processes, and not the process in its own entirety. Furthermore, the scientific debate, although recognizing that ICTs can enable the entire inbound process, has rather disregarded the way firms can support the whole inbound Open Innovation process by means of ICTs. In order to fill this gap, the objective of this work thesis is to develop the conceptual design of an ICT platform supporting the inbound Open Innovation processes within the Technological Developments business unit of Leonardo Defence Systems division.

Methodology: After the preliminary phase of the conceptual design of the platform, concerning the context analysis, methodology includes three main steps: (i) conceptualization of platform’s functions; (ii) platform’s preliminary design; and (iii) conceptual design of the platform’s architecture. In each of these phases, I tried to merge evidence from the scientific literature with empirical insight emerging from the field. The Leonardo Defence Systems case study proved to be the most important approach, in order to carry out the conceptual design of ICT platform. Once the conceptual design of the platform was carried out, I tested the IF-TOPSIS technique for two of the key activities of the company: Technology Assessment and Partners’ selection.

Findings: Results report the integrated inbound OI ICT platform’s conceptual design. It includes the conceptualization of the platform’s main functions, the preliminary design deriving from use cases identified and represented by means of UML language, and the proposal for the overall system architecture and data model.

Research limitations: The research focuses only on the conceptual design phase, at this stage the platform has not been still implemented or tested. Also, generalizability concerns may arise from the single-application context.

Practical implications: The out coming conceptual design can be useful for firms that open their boundaries to external partners, as well as for software developers which could draw on it. Firms approaching similar OI challenges can re-contextualize the platforms to their own setting.

Originality: Originality of this research relies on the attempt to show how ICT can support firms in their OI processes and, secondly, to support firms aiming to create a positive environment that encourages people at leveraging existing external technological opportunities and sources of knowledge. In so doing, a systematic design approach to the definition of the conceptual proposal is also pursued.