This paper considers open innovation strategies in the food and drink industry and seeks to examine the determinants of openness and the impact of open behaviours by companies on innovation performance. The study clusters food and drink companies in terms of their degree of openness measured across two dimensions, namely, collaboration breadth (broad to narrow collaboration ecosystem) and collaboration depth (deeper to surface collaboration). Findings show that food and drink companies can be clustered into three open innovation modes in terms of their search strategy for external knowledge ranging from limited collaboration with traditional partners to a broad and deep openness approach with a wide spectrum of external sources. Technology pressures emerge as a key driver for greater openness. Significantly, greater openness leads to enhanced innovation performance; however, it requires a dedicated architecture for collaboration to access and leverage external knowledge.
Keywords: open innovation, firm openness, collaborative innovation strategies, search strategies, open innovation performance, food and drink industry, cluster analysis