Paradox of openness: knowledge sharing-protection tension in ecosystems

Jaakko Paasi (Corresponding author), Katri Valkokari, Helena Rusanen, Hannu Makkonen, Tiina Laiho

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


The paper describes findings about knowledge management in innovation constellations that are calling themselves as innovation ecosystems. The focus is in tension between knowledge sharing and knowledge protection, i.e. in the paradox of openness. The research asked whether an ecosystemic and open way of innovation differs to innovation in networks in respect to how the paradox appears. The study applied the methodology of qualitative research. Experiences and practices were collected from 13 innovation ecosystems. According to the findings, the paradox seems to be very true in ecosystems and even more pronounced than in innovation networks, because in ecosystems one may not know all actors of innovation. That makes the promotion of knowledge sharing in ecosystems as a multifaceted issue. In addition, the findings suggest that firms in different ecosystem roles have role specific approaches towards sharing vs. protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe ISPIM Innovation Conference
Subtitle of host publicationInnovating in Times of Crisis
PublisherLappeenranta University of Technology
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-335-466-1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
EventXXXI ISPIM Innovation Conference - Online: Innovating in Times of Crises - Virtual, Germany
Duration: 7 Jun 202010 Jun 2020


ConferenceXXXI ISPIM Innovation Conference - Online
Abbreviated titleISPIM Virtual 2020
Internet address


  • ecosystems
  • innovation ecosystems
  • innovation networks
  • open innovation
  • knowledge management
  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge protection
  • intellectual property
  • paradox of openness
  • industry 4.0


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