University of Oulu

Stefan, I., Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, P., & Vanhaverbeke, W. (2021). Trajectories towards balancing value creation and capture: Resolution paths and tension loops in open innovation projects. International Journal of Project Management, 39(2), 139–153.

Trajectories towards balancing value creation and capture : resolution paths and tension loops in open innovation projects

Saved in:
Author: Stefan, Ioana1; Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia2; Vanhaverbeke, Wim3
Organizations: 1School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Mälardalen University, Box 325, 631 05 Eskilstuna, Sweden
2Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4600, FI-90014, Finland
3Surrey Business School, University of Surrey, Guildford Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-01-18


This study aims to elevate the current understanding of value creation and value capture tensions that emerge in open innovation projects and of their potential solutions. In contrast with prior studies that often suggest specific solutions to individual tensions, our study takes an integrative approach by considering complex (bundles of) tensions and potential solutions to these. The study employs qualitative methods and builds on interview data from six case companies and a group of expert informants. We investigate unfolding events from the point when value creation — value capture tensions are identified in open innovation projects, to the search for their solutions. We label such sequences of unfolding events as trajectories. Our findings reveal two types of trajectories: resolution paths, which are trajectories from initial tensions to solutions, and tension loops, where initial tensions persist and/or new tensions emerge after solutions are enforced. We analyze a total of 17 trajectories, of which seven are marked as resolution paths, and ten represent tension loops. For the majority of the tension loops in our data (eight out of ten) the tensions remain unresolved. We further categorize the types of tensions and discuss the implications of our results for researchers and practitioners.

see all

Series: International journal of project management
ISSN: 0263-7863
ISSN-E: 1873-4634
ISSN-L: 0263-7863
Volume: 39
Issue: 2
Pages: 139 - 153
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2020.06.004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.