在21世紀初，隨著越來越多的公司開始相互合作，以加強創新開發，從而有助於提高競爭效益，於是Chesbrough (2003) (Christensen et al.， 2005)創造了開放創新這個詞。根據他在2007年所做的研究，人們注意到並不是所有的組織都使用類似的方法來進行開放創新。因此，他認為這個過程可以被最好地描述為一個連續的存在，範圍從較低的開放程度到較高的開放程度。根據Lichtenthaler(2008)的研究，開放程度似乎隨著對創新的關注範圍的急劇擴大而上升。 Huang等人(2010)提出，開放創新通過允許組織能夠利用外部多個來源的更好的想法，從而進一步導致業務的增長。關於開放創新的作用，已經進行了一些研究來研究研究與開發聯盟內部的知識轉移問題(Colarelli O’Connor, 2006)。
這些研究還考察了組織內部發展能力的需求，以吸收正在考慮獲取的新知識(Copper, 2004)。其他研究人員則關注用戶的創新，即企業在開發新產品時，如何在新知識的外部開發中與用戶合作(Aiken & West, 1991)。另一個研究領域探討了與開放創新如何有助於增強或加快創新過程相關的商業模式。 Lichtenthaler(2011)在他的幾項定性研究中指出，關注單一的公司活動是必要的。然而，一些研究人員的假設是，開放創新的過程提高了組織的績效。這樣的觀點反過來又為假設提供了基礎，例如，參與開放創新過程的公司之間的業務績效將會很高(Cooper & Kleinschmidt, 2005)。
At the start of the 21st century, as more companies moved towards collaboration with one another for enhancing the innovation exploitation that can help in competitive benefits, the phrase open innovation was thus coined by Chesbrough (2003) (Christensen et al., 2005). According to him, in his research done by 2007, it was noted that not all organizations use the similar approach towards open innovation. Therefore, he suggested that the process can be described best as a continuum existence that ranges from lower openness degree to higher one. According to Lichtenthaler (2008), it was concluded that the openness degree appears to rise with the range of focus over innovation radically. According to Huang et al. (2010), it was proposed that open innovation further leads towards the growth of business through allowing organizations the ability of leveraging better ideas from several sources externally. With regard to the open innovation role, certain studies have been conducted to examine the knowledge transfer issue within alliances of research and development (Colarelli O’ Connor, 2006).
These studies have also examined the requirement of developing internal capability in an organization for absorbing newer knowledge being considered for acquisition (Copper, 2004). Other researchers have focused over innovation of users with regard to the way in which firms collaborate with users within the new knowledge external exploitation when new products are developed (Aiken & West, 1991). Another research field has addressed the business models relevance with regard to how open innovation can help in enhancing or accelerating the process of innovation. It has been noted through Lichtenthaler (2011) in his several qualitative studies that it is essential to focus over single firm activities. The assumption of several researchers however has been that the process of open innovation enhances the performance of organizations. Such perspective in turn provides the base for hypothesis such as performance of a business will be high between firms that are involved within the process of open innovation (Cooper & Kleinschmidt, 2005).