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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a

multicase study
Orientação empreendedora e inovação aberta em startups brasileiras: um estudo
Orientation entrepreneuriale et innovation ouverte dans des startups
brésiliennes: une étude cas multiples
Orientación emprendedora e innovación abierta en startups brasileñas: un estudio
Eduardo Gomes Carvalho*
Joel Yutaka Sugano**

Recebido em 02/12/2015; revisado e aprovado 15/04/2016; aceito em 27/04/2016

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20435/1984-042X-2016-v.17-n.3(08)

Abstract: Entrepreneurship and innovation are the basis to regional and national development.
Therefore, entrepreneurs and startups are protagonists in this scenario. However, a new paradigm
emerges in innovation studies: Open Innovation. But the relationship between Open Innovation
and entrepreneurship is few explored. Thus, our work aims to fill this gap. Using case studies we
check the hypotheses presented by Carvalho and Sugano (2016). At end, a framework and new
hypotheses were presented to future studies.
Key words: entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial orientation; open innovation.
Resumo: Empreendedorismo e inovação são bases para o desenvolvimento regional e nacional.
Portanto, empreendedores e startups passam a ser protagonistas neste cenário. No entanto, um
novo paradigma surge em estudos de inovação: Open Innovation. Mas a relação entre inovação
aberta e empreendedorismo é pouco explorada. Assim, nosso trabalho visa preencher esta lacuna.
Usando estudos de caso vamos verificar as hipóteses apresentadas por Carvalho e Sugano (2016).
Ao final, um framework e novas hipóteses foram apresentados para estudos futuros.
Palavras-chave: empreendedorismo; orientação empreendedora; inovação aberta.
Résumé: Entrepreneuriat et innovation sont la base du développement régional et national. Par
conséquent, les entrepreneurs et les startups sont les protagonistes de ce scénario. Toutefois, un
nouveau paradigme émerge dans les études d’innovation: l’innovation ouverte. Mais la relation
entre l’innovation ouverte et de l’entrepreneuriat est peu exploré. Ainsi, notre travail vise à combler
cette lacune. En utilisant des études de cas, nous vérifions les hypothèses présentées par Carvalho
et Sugano (2016). Enfin, un framework et de nouvelles hypothèses pour de futures études ont été
Mots-clés: entrepreneuriat; orientation entrepreneuriale; innovation ouverte.
Resumen: El espíritu emprendedor y la innovación son la base para el desarrollo regional y na-
cional. Por eso, los emprendedores y startups convierten en protagonistas en este escenario. No
obstante, un nuevo paradigma emerge en los estudios de innovación: la innovación abierta. Pero
la relación entre la innovación abierta y el espíritu emprendedor es poco explorada. Así, nuestro
trabajo tiene como objetivo llenar este vacío. Utilizando estudios de caso, comprobamos las hi-
pótesis presentadas por Carvalho y Sugano (2016). Al final, fueron presentados un framework y
nuevas hipótesis para futuros estudios.
Palabras clave: espíritu emprendedor; orientación emprendedora; innovación abierta.

* Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais, Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brasil.
** Universidade Federal de Lavras, Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brasil.

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 449

1 INTRODUCTION the Technology Innovation Management

Review, entitled Open Innovation and
Open innovation is between the hot- Entrepreneurship, works of authors from
test topics in innovation studies. However Belgium and Norway that explore this
the relationship between open innovation relationship were presented (DE CLEYN
and the broader disciplines of management et al., 2013; IAKOVLEVA, 2013; SEGERS,
is unexplored, as pointed by West et al. 2013; SOLESVIK; GULBRANDSEN, 2013;
(2014). An important discipline of manage- VANHAVERBEKE, 2013). Recently,
ment (and highly linked with innovation) Eftekhari and Bogers (2015), using case
is entrepreneurship. Even before West et study, explored how an open approach
al. (2014), Hossain (2013) identified the to new venture creation can be beneficial
gap of studies about open innovation and for start-up entrepreneurs. Cheng and
entrepreneurship. Huizingh (2014) addressed how three
As affirmed, the relationship betwe- types of strategic orientations, between
en innovation and entrepreneurship is them Entrepreneurial Orientation, mo-
relevant in the literature. A pioneer in the derate the relationship between Open
studies about entrepreneurship and inno- Innovation and innovation performance.
vation is Schumpeter (1934). Schumpeter But, no one explored Entrepreneurial
(1934) viewed the entrepreneur as inno- Orientation as driver for Open Innovation.
vator. Schumpeter (1934) maintained that Notwithstanding, Carvalho and
innovation contributes to the growth of the Sugano (2016), using systematic review,
economy because entrepreneurs produce presented some hypotheses that explore
innovations. After Schumpeter (1934), the relationship between open innovation
other important author that touched on and entrepreneurial orientation, defen-
the conceptual relationship between in- ding the hypothesis of Entrepreneurial
novation and entrepreneurship is Drucker Orientation as driver for Open Innovation.
(1994). Other several works (NDUBISI; Thus, our work aims to check the hypo-
IFTIKHAR, 2012; SWAMI; PORWAL, theses presented by Carvalho and Sugano
2005; Zhao, 2005; Galindo; Mendez-Picazo, (2016). At check those hypothesis we are
2013) explored the relationship between trying to answering the following ques-
innovation and entrepreneurship. But, tion: What is the relationship between
why the relationship between open in- Open Innovation and Entrepreneurial
novation and entrepreneurship is still Orientation? Our proposition is that
unexplored? Entrepreneurial Orientation dimensions
First, open innovation is still under are correlated with Open Innovation, and
scrutiny, and it is rooted in technology. both impact the firm performance. The
Therefore, the relationship between open research method adopted is case study.
innovation and the disciplines of econo- In contrast to Cheng and Huizingh (2014),
mics and management is the next step we aim to focus on firm performance, not
to understand the phenomenon of open in innovation performance.
innovation. Second, this relationship Next we present a theoretical ba-
is not entire unexplored. For example, ckground about open innovation and
Chaston and Scott (2012), through a entrepreneurial orientation, followed by
survey, presented evidences about the methodological section. Posteriorly, the
impact of entrepreneurial orientation and discussion is presented. At end, we pre-
open innovation in firm performance, sent the final considerations.
but they did not link the dimensions of
entrepreneurial orientation and open in-
novation. After, the issue of April 2013 of

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450 Eduardo Gomes Carvalho; Joel Yutaka Sugan

2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND to guarantee successful innovation. Third,

extant definitions of open innovation
2.1 Open Innovation are kept broad, arguably to reflect what
Huizingh (2011) calls the “appeal” of
open innovation, namely that it provides
Chesbrough is the pioneer in the the “umbrella that encompasses, connects
studies of Open Innovation. The book and integrates a range of already existing
of Chesbrough (2003) not just compiled activities”.
reflections from a former Silicon Valley The first observation of Saebi and
manager’s, but presented a first defi- Foss (2015) reflects what is known as
nition of Open Innovation. According macroprocess or archetypes of Open
to Chesbrough (2003) open innovation Innovation. Gassmann and Enkel (2004)
means that valuable ideas can come from present three macroprocess of Open
Innovation: outside-in, inside-out and
inside or outside the company and can
coupled. The outside-in process is related
go to market from inside or outside the to enriching the company’s own kno-
company as well. However, posteriorly, wledge base through the integration of
Chesbrough (2006) emphasize the inten- suppliers, customers and external know-
tionality of the knowledge flows into and ledge sourcing can increase a company’s
out of the firm. Thus, Chesbrough (2006) innovativeness. The inside-out process
affirms that open innovation is the use of refers to profits by bringing ideas to ma-
purposive inflows and outflows of kno- rket, selling intellectual property and mul-
wledge to accelerate internal innovation, tiplying technology by transferring ideas
and expand the markets for external use to the outside environment. The coupled
process involves coupling the outside-in
of innovation, respectively. But, in a new and inside-out processes by working in
effort to define open innovation West alliances with complementary partners in
et al. (2014) presented the most actual which give and take is crucial for success.
definition of open innovation provided In order to accomplish both, these compa-
by Chesbrough and Bogers (2014), that nies collaborate and cooperate with other
considerate the increasing interest in stakeholders such as partner companies
non-pecuniary knowledge flows, being (e.g. strategic alliances, joint ventures),
open innovation defined as a distributed suppliers and customers, as well as uni-
innovation process based on purposively versities and research institutes.
Usually, most works refers only to
managed knowledge flows across organi-
outside-in and inside-out dimensions.
zational boundaries, using pecuniary and Furthermore, Conboy and Morgan (2011)
non-pecuniary mechanisms in line with use the terms inbound and outbound to
the organization’s business model. define respectively outside-in and inside-
Saebi and Foss (2015) analyzed the -out. The other case is van de Vrande et al.
definitions provided by Chesbrough and (2009), which adopt the terms technology
others and pointed three points. First, exploration and technology exploitation
open innovation studies are congruent to define respectively inbound and out-
with regard to their understanding of bound open innovation.
Lazzarotti et al. (2011) distinguish
open innovation as a set of practices that
four different open innovation models
facilitate both purposive inflows and ou- with respect to two variables, representing
tflows of knowledge; thus open innova- the degree of openness: the number and
tion generally encompasses both inbound type of partners with whom the company
and outbound dimensions of innovation collaborates (partner variety) and the num-
processes. Second, studies seem to agree ber and type of phases of the innovation
that pursuing open innovation requires a process actually open to external collabora-
certain degree of permeability of organiza- tions (innovation phase variety). The open
tional and innovation process boundaries innovation models are:

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 451

• Open Innovators: corresponds to compa- action by an individual or team aimed at

nies that are really able to manage a wide bringing forth a business concept or vision
set of technological relationships, that im- and carrying it through to completion.
pact on the whole innovation funnel and Competitive aggressiveness is said to
involve a broad set of different partners;
reflect the intensity of a firm’s effort to
• Closed Innovators: corresponds to com-
outperform industry rivals, characteri-
panies that access external sources of
knowledge only for a specific, single phase zed by a strong offensive posture and a
of the innovation funnel and typically in forceful response to competitor’s actions
dyadic collaborations; (LUMPKIN; DESS, 2001). Innovativeness
• Integrated Collaborators: corresponds reflects, according to Lumpkin and Dess
to companies that open their whole inno- (1996), a firm’s Schumpeterian tendency to
vation funnel but only to contributions engage in and support new ideas, novelty,
coming from a few types of partners and; experimentation, and creative processes
• Specialized Collaborators: corresponds that may result in new products, services,
to companies that are able to work with or technological processes. Proactiveness
many different partners but concentrate
is defined as acting opportunistically to
their collaborations at a single stage of the
shape the environment by influencing
trends, creating demand, and becoming
innovation funnel.
a first mover in a competitive market
Carvalho et al. (2016) point studies (LUMPKIN; DESS, 1996). Risk taking is
about open innovation in startups are a defined by Lumpkin and Dess (2001) to
gap in literature. Startups are a kind of a tendency to take bold actions such as
company which is expected a more promi- venturing into unknown new markets,
nent entrepreneurial behavior. But, what committing a large portion of resources
makes a firm entrepreneurial, and how do to ventures with uncertain outcomes.
we distinguish entrepreneurial firms from According to Anderson et al. (2015)
those more conservatively managed? despite the burgeoning scholarly inte-
rest in this area, a number of ontological
questions persist in the Entrepreneurial
2.2 Entrepreneurial Orientation Orientation literature, between them the-
re are ongoing conversations regarding
The previous section closes with a the dimensionality of Entrepreneurial
question. According to Anderson et al. Orientation. For example, there are works
(2015) the foundational paper of Miller that adopt four dimensions, such as Covin
(1983) provided much needed clarity and Covin (1990): innovativeness, pro-
regarding this fundamental issue to ma- activeness, risk taking and competitive
aggressiveness. There are works that
nagement scholars. The objective of the
competitive aggressiveness in proactive-
research of Miller (1983) was to discover ness dimension or as synonymous, such
the chief determinants of entrepreneur- as Covin and Slevin (1989) and Covin
ship, the process by which organizations and Slevin (1991). Other example is Mello
renew themselves and their markets by and Leão (2005), that identified a sixth di-
pioneering, innovation, and risk taking. mension in high-tech enterprises in Brazil
The first constructs of entrepreneurial called networks. According to them, this
orientation rely on three dimensions dimension was inserted because the en-
identified by Miller (1983): innovative- trepreneur must build relationships with
ness, proactiveness and risk taking. Later, partners to become viable the venture.
According to Mello and Leão (2005), the
Lumpkin and Dess (1996) identified key concept to this dimension is network
more two dimensions of entrepreneurial identity. Mello and Leão (2005) conclu-
orientation: autonomy and competitive ded that the emergence of this dimension
aggressiveness. Autonomy is defined by justify the absence of the competitive
Lumpkin and Dess (2001) as independent aggressiveness dimension. Our work

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452 Eduardo Gomes Carvalho; Joel Yutaka Sugan

adopts five dimensions: autonomy, in- few areas in entrepreneurship research in

novativeness, proactiveness, risk taking which a cumulative body of knowledge
and networks. is developing.
We must stress that entrepreneurial
orientation is among the main concepts 3 METHODOLOGY
in entrepreneurship studies in the last
decades. According to Rauch et al. (2009) Given the objective of the study and
and Anderson et al. (2015) entrepreneu- the hypotheses presented by Carvalho
rial orientation has emerged as a major and Sugano (2016), we conducted a case
construct in the strategic management study (EISENHARDT, 1989; YIN, 1994).
and entrepreneurship literature over the According to Eisenhardt (1989) the case
years. Entrepreneurial orientation has study is a research strategy which focuses
been used around the world to measure on understanding the dynamics present
the level of entrepreneurial behavior of within single settings. Figure 1 provides a
the firms. According to Campos et al. summary of the research steps discussed
(2012) entrepreneurial orientation has below.
received substantial conceptual and em-
pirical attention, representing one of the

Figure 1 – Research Steps

First, a preliminary interview proto- framework that considers the relationship

col was developed. The interview protocol between entrepreneurship, innovation
and the pilot case study are presented and quality performance in small and
next. Afterward, the interview protocol medium-size enterprises. In our fra-
was improved and the case studies were mework, innovation is replaced by Open
conducted. At end, the data were analyzed Innovation, divided in outbound open
and the results are presented in discussion innovation and inbound open innovation.
section. The Entrepreneurial Orientation is used
instead of entrepreneurship and has three
3.1 Pilot Case Study constructs: risk taking, proactiveness
and autonomy. In questionnaire, the risk
The interview protocol to pilot taking construct has five items, while the
case study was based on the framework proactiveness construct has five items
proposed by Ndubisi and Iftikhar (2012). and autonomy construct has three items.
Ndubisi and Iftikhar (2012) developed a The inbound open innovation construct

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 453

and outbound open innovation construct applied structural equation modeling,

are the adopted by Huang et al. (2013). In aiming future quantitative studies.
questionnaire, both the constructs have Thus, a new interview protocol was
five items. Firm performance construct developed. To collect data about Open
used by Huang et al. (2013) was adopted Innovation we did not find an inter-
instead of quality performance construct view protocol in Portuguese language.
adopted by Ndubisi and Iftikhar (2012). However, we defined van de Vrande et
In questionnaire, the firm performance al. (2009) as construct because it is the first
construct has four items and analyzes pro- and the most cited work to analyze Open
fit, return on sales, quality of products/ Innovation in small and medium enter-
services and reliability of products. A prises. The Entrepreneurial Orientation
single pilot test was performed with an construct was Li et al. (2009). The construct
academic that was an entrepreneur too. of Li et al. (2009) was chosen because we
The enterprise chosen is a high did not find a construct in Portuguese lan-
tech startup that develops solutions in guage. Two questions were inserted in this
information technology to agribusiness. construct to analyze hypotheses presented
The firm was chosen, because it was con- by Carvalho and Sugano (2016). The ne-
sidered in 2012 top 10 between Brazilian twork dimension was evaluated using the
startups, according Info (a Brazilian ma- construct provided by Bonner et al. (2005).
gazine). The firm has two mainly products Again, we did not find a construct in
based in image analysis technology, is Portuguese language. Yet, to collect infor-
situated in Minas Gerais state, in Brazil, mation about firm performance was used
and was established in 2008. The firm has the construct provided by Fernandes and
14 employees. Santos (2008), because it is in Portuguese
The owner was interviewed and he Language. However, the firm performance
has knowledge about open innovation construct is very similar to that used in
and the firm strategy. The interview was the pilot case. The degree of agreement
conducted in the firm. There were no toward each item can be categorized into
problems to understand the questions, seven levels from “extremely disagree” to
however other problems are evidenced. “extremely agree”. Also, the questionnaire
First, a structured questionnaire is not has questions of identification and opened
adequate to a deep understanding. It is questions about each construct. Because
important opened questions to a better of the need of translations and to verify
understanding. Second, the questions the understanding of questions 7 pilot
were not adequate to small and medium test were applied in entrepreneurs and
enterprises. Third, there were problems academicians. After each application the
with translation. The fourth problem is questionnaire was changed. There were no
the absence of network dimension. Thus, problems in the last two applications, and
a new interview protocol must be de- then we considered that the instrument
veloped, based in three premises: using was ready.
preferentially constructs in Portuguese, The framework was developed,
and/or focused in small and medium considering the interview protocol and
enterprises and with opened questions. the hypotheses presented by Carvalho
As precondition the constructs should and Sugano (2016). Thus, the framework
preferably be derived from studies that of this research is shown in Figure 2.

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454 Eduardo Gomes Carvalho; Joel Yutaka Sugan

Figure 2 – The proposed conceptual framework.

3.2 The Case Studies located 144 miles from the Company
A). Company A is winner of MPE Brazil
The enterprises were selected to case award in 2012, in the category information
study not because the easy access reason, technology. The MPE Brazil award – a
but because they are in evidence newspa-
competitiveness award for micro – and
per clippings. We take care to interview
the owner, because reliability issues. All small – sized companies – is intended to
companies are located in Minas Gerais. spread the concepts of the Management
The companies A, B and E are distant Excellence Model (from the Portuguese
about 129 miles at south from the pilot language acronym MEG – Modelo de
case. The company C is distant about 115 Excelência da Gestão). Company A may be
miles at south from pilot case, while the considered an open innovator, following
company D is distant about 149 miles at the criteria provide by Lazzarotti et al.
north from pilot case. (2011).
Company A is located at town of Company B is also located at town
Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of state of Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of state
of Minas Gerais. Before describing the
of Minas Gerais. Company B begins its
company, it is important to note that the
town of Santa Rita do Sapucaí is known activities in 2012 in Business Incubator
as Electronic Valley and it is an important Inatel and it has 22 employees. Company
cluster. Because of this, several works B supplies internet service providers. Its
(BOTELHO et al., 2013; GARCIA et al., products have electricity concentrator
2015, SOUSA et al., 2015) study the cluster system that provides the Internet service
of Santa Rita do Sapucaí and its enterpri- provider the ability to provide broad-
ses. Company A begins its activities in band via optical fiber, at very low cost.
2010 in Business Incubator Inatel (Instituto The company has won several awards,
Nacional de Telecomunicações – National such as Startup Session at Futurecom
Institute of Telecommunications) and it 2013 (largest exhibition of technology
has 7 employees. Since 2013 the company
in Latin America) and the third pla-
is working out of business incubator.
Company A develops products and pro- ce in National Award for Innovative
vides services in information and com- Entrepreneurship provided by Sebrae
munications technologies. The company (Brazilian Service of Support to Micro
has a subsidiary in the city of São Paulo and Small Enterprises – Serviço Brasileiro
(an important Brazilian economic center de Apoio às Micro e Pequenas Empresas) and

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 455

Anprotec (National Association of Entities 4 DISCUSSION

Promoting Innovative Enterprises –
Associação Nacional de Entidades Promotoras The sources of evidence were three:
de Empreendimentos Inovadores). Company interviews, direct observations and docu-
B may be considered an open innovator. mentation. The documentation is mainly
Company C is located at city of Pouso based in newspaper clippings and other
Alegre, south of state of Minas Gerais. The articles appearing in the mass media.
company begins its activities in 2014 and it By making a field visit to the case study
has only 2 employees: the owner and the “site”, we created the opportunity for
partner. Company C works with mobile direct observations. The interviews have
software development. The main product two kinds of questions: opened and clo-
is an application to supermarkets. In 2015, sed. The opened questions were applied
the company was chosen to uMov.me Labs first. According to Carvalho and Sugano
project. The uMov.me Labs project is a (2016) empirical works should replace
startup acceleration project created by an the competitive aggressiveness dimen-
enterprise focused in mobile solutions to sion by network dimension or, in case of
corporative market. Company C may be qualitative studies, consider both dimen-
considered an open innovator. sions and evaluate that possibility. So,
Company D is located at town of we first analyzed the divergence between
Santa Rita do Sapucaí, south of state of network and competitive aggressiveness
Minas Gerais. It begins the activities in 2012 dimensions. As Mello and Leão (2005),
in Business Incubator Inatel and it has 4 we did not find evidences of competitive
employees. Company D works with ener- aggressiveness. The owner of Company A
gy solutions. Its main product is a digital affirmed they prefer work in network. He
electrical switchboard that allows tracking even did not know how to compare the
power consumption. The company is in situation of the company and the compe-
evidence in national media, mainly after titors. Company B has proposals to work
national energy crisis. Company D is in with competitors. Company C focuses
internationalization process. Company D in partnership with other companies,
may be considered an open innovator. including a big software developer. The
At end, Company E is located at owner of Company E affirmed they did
City of Belo Horizonte, the state capital not need to use strategies of competitive
of Minas Gerais. The company begins its aggressiveness. In really, he emphasized
activities in 2015. It has 6 employees and the mutual help between startups in Belo
works with smart vehicle systems. The Horizonte. The main explanation is provi-
main product is a device to collect infor- ded in the speech of owners of Company
mation about the vehicle and generates C and D: theirs products is new, they
reports to maintenance. The company was have no competitors. These enterprises
conceived inside the Federal University can succeed not by battling competitors,
of Minas Gerais and it works in BHTec but rather by creating uncontested market
(Technological Park of Belo Horizonte). space. Other explanation is the impor-
Company E has won several awards, tance of partnership, as emphasized by
such as Startup Farm (largest program owner of Company C. Startups have few
of startup acceleration of Latin America), resources and because of this alliances
UFMG Challenge and Plano Beta, the last are very important. Thus, we employed
two about business plan. Company E may network dimension rather competitive
be considered a specialized collaborator. aggressiveness dimension.
The first question was: do you
know open innovation? The owners of

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456 Eduardo Gomes Carvalho; Joel Yutaka Sugan

Company A and Company D knew the the broad use of open innovation activi-
term, but they did not know the definition. ties, the values of Innovativeness were the
Others have never heard. After we explain lowest. However, evidences from direct
the concept, they affirmed that they have observation and documentation, such as
using open innovation activities. awards and newspaper clippings, show
Even not present in framework the innovativeness enterprises. We cannot
innovation dimension was analyzed. discard problems with the interview
Figure 3 shows a graphic that analyzed the protocol. Can be open innovation or in-
entrepreneurial orientation of firms. The novativeness an uneventful something? It
standard deviation of innovativeness, risk is possible. Autonomy, network and risk
taking, proactiveness, autonomy and ne- taking dimensions have the highest va-
twork dimensions were respectively 0.55, lues. Thus, the use of network dimension
1.95, 2.10, 0.71 and 0.71. Thus, the values is adequate. The high level of risk taking
of innovativeness, autonomy and network is coherent, confirming the postulate of
may be considered homogeneous, while the owners of Company C and Company
the values of risk taking and proactive- E. According to the owner of Company C
ness may be considered heterogeneous. “undertake without risk is not entrepre-
Homogeneous values difficult check rela- neurship”. The owner of Company E said
tionships. Despite of the homogeneity and a similar phrase: “startup is risk”.

Figure 3 – Entrepreneurial orientation of firms.

Figure 4 shows the Open Innovation Networking. External Participation,

activities values. The highest value is Inward IP Licensing and Outward IP
from Customer Involvement. This result Licensing are the less used activities, whi-
is compatible with the literature (VAN ch is compatible with the literature (VAN
DE VRANDE et al., 2009; WYNARCZYK, DE VRANDE et al., 2009; WYNARCZYK,
2013). As van de Vrande et al. (2009) the 2013).
second mode more used is also External

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 457

Figure 4 – Open Innovation activities.

The hypotheses were checked. The hypothesis H1a can be con-

Carvalho and Sugano (2016) presented firmed. The independent action of an
two hypotheses about the relationship individual or a team in bringing forth an
between autonomy dimension and Open idea or a vision and carrying it through to
Innovation. However the first hypothesis completion has a positive effect and sig-
has 5 under hypotheses. The first hypo- nificant effect on customer involvement.
thesis is: However the hypothesis H1c cannot be
H1. Autonomy has a positive effect confirmed, because the relationship is al-
on open innovation. most nonexistent. About other hypotheses
About the first hypothesis we can we can affirm that there is a positive, but
affirm that there is a positive relationship not significant, relationship. The second
between autonomy dimension and Open and last hypothesis related to autonomy
Innovation, but it is no significant. The 5 dimension is:
under hypotheses are: H2. Open innovation activities be-
H1a. The independent action of an nefit from incentives and performance
individual or a team in bringing forth an measures that capture open innovation
idea or a vision and carrying it through activities at the collective level, and not
to completion has a positive effect on only individual behavior.
customer involvement. About the second hypothesis we
H1b. Actions free of stifling organiza- can affirm that there is a positive, but not
tional constraints has a positive effect on significant, relationship.
customer involvement. About network dimension Carvalho
H1c. The independent action of an and Sugano (2016) present only one hy-
individual or a team in bringing forth an pothesis:
idea or a vision and carrying it through to H3. Network dimension has a posi-
completion has a positive effect on open tive effect on open innovation.
innovation. Again, there is a weak, not signifi-
H1d. Actions free of stifling organiza- cant and positive relationship. However,
tional constraints has a positive effect on we must emphasize the limitation of
open innovation. case study method, because Chesbrough
H1e. Autonomy is positively related (2006) stresses the role of networks to sha-
to outbound open innovation. pe Open Innovation. Thus, a quantitative

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458 Eduardo Gomes Carvalho; Joel Yutaka Sugan

study is very important and necessary. risk, outbound activities could be more
About the relationship between risk because the firm may lose possibility
proacti veness dimension and Open to capture the created value. The firms
Innovation, Carvalho and Sugano (2016) may be aware of this problem and not use
presented only one hypothesis: outbound Open Innovation. The seventh
H4. Alertness regarding new busi- and eighth hypotheses are contradictory.
ness opportunities has a positive effect Thus, we expected evidences to support
on open innovation. only one. The evidences support the ei-
The evidences suggest that alertness ghth hypothesis.
regarding new business opportunities Our initial proposition is con-
has a positive and strong, but no signi- firmed in part. Some dimensions of
ficant, effect on open innovation. Thus, Entrepreneurial Orientation are correla-
the systematic search for new markets ted with Open Innovation, but we can-
and business opportunities can make not check the impact of both in the firm
the organization become careful to Open performance.
Innovation opportunities. For example, However, some relationships beca-
despite of the focus of firm, most owners me apparent. Because the values of risk
affirm to be alert to develop new products. taking and proactiveness dimensions are
It is the case of Company A, which chan- heterogeneous we can affirm that some
ged the focus in the beginning. relationships are relevant. We found a
Carvalho and Sugano (2016) presen- strong and positive relationship between
ted four hypotheses about the relationship risk taking and external networking as
between Risk taking dimension and Open Open Innovation mode. Other relevant
Innovation, to know: relationship is between proactiveness and
H5. Risk taking has a positive effect outsourcing R&D. So, we present two new
on open innovation. hypotheses to future works:
H6. There is a significant relationship H9. There is a significant rela-
between risk taking and outbound open tionship between risk taking and external
innovation. networking.
H7. Organizations with high-level H10. There is a significant rela-
of risk taking level adopt license, as ou- tionship between proactiveness and out-
tbound open innovation, more than or- sourcing R&D.
ganizations with low-level of risk taking. We cannot offer a satisfactory ex-
H8. There is a negative relationship planation to those relationships. We can
between risk taking and selling as out- speculate that working in alliance is a risk
bound open innovation. and only firms which high levels of risk
The fifth hypothesis points to a taking are ready to assume. About the
positive effect of risk taking on Open tenth hypothesis is more difficult to spe-
Innovation. We found a positive and mo- culate, so if this hypothesis is confirmed
derate relationship between risk taking then we need more exploratory studies.
and Open Innovation. On the other hand, We also found a positive and signi-
we did not find evidences that support ficant relationship between proactiveness
the sixth hypothesis. On the contrary, dimension and Open Innovation and
we found a negative, but not significant inbound Open Innovation. According to
relationship between risk taking and Fernandes et al. (2013), to the extent by
outbound open innovation. Carvalho which globalisation has advanced and
and Sugano (2016) rely on Schroll and deepened the level and consequences of
Mild (2011), which affirmed that while interdependence between national eco-
inbound activities do not include a great nomies, the business world has become

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Entrepreneurial orientation and open innovation in brazilian startups: a multicase study 459

ever more complex and exponentially (2005), which justify the absence of the
more competitive. Fernandes et al. (2013) competitive aggressiveness dimension.
stressed that this scenario has driven Second, based in the evidences presented
companies to adopt proactive strategies here, we advocate that innovativeness
designed to seek out sustainable com- dimension should be replaced by a new
petitive advantage and innovation has dimension: Open Innovation dimension.
thereby now emerged as one of the core According to Chaston and Scott (2012)
strategic priorities for companies seeking the impact of Open Innovation on firm
success in their business dealings. Thus, performance is bigger than the impact
open innovation emerge as strategy to of Entrepreneurial Orientation on firma
develop innovation. So, we present more performance. Furthermore, Gündoğdu
hypotheses to future works: (2012) coined the term Innopreneurship.
H11. Proactiveness has a positive According to Gündoğdu (2012) existing
effect on open innovation. traditional entrepreneurs also should turn
H11a. Proactiveness has a positive out as innopreneurs not to face the danger
effect on inbound open innovation. of being isolated outside the system. The
innopreneur is an entrepreneur turned for
5 FINAL CONSIDERATIONS innovation and partnerships. Thus, we
suggest the constructs of our framework
Our work aimed to check the hypo- can be merged into a single tool: Open
theses presented by Carvalho and Sugano Innopreneurial Orientation.
(2016). Most hypotheses were confirmed, Moreover, we contribute with new
but only one hypothesis has a significant hypotheses to future works. However, we
result. Thus, quantitative works with a must advert that our work has limitations.
wide sample is important. It is import These limitations are the method and the
check if Entrepreneurial Orientation is a units of analysis. Therefore we cannot
driver for Open Innovation. generalize the results.
Cheng and Huizingh (2014) con-
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Sobre os autores:
Eduardo Gomes Carvalho: Graduado em Sistemas de Informação pelo Centro
Universitário de Itajubá, Mestre em Engenharia de Produção pela Universidade Federal
de Itajubá. Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais, Departamento
de Computação e Engenharia Civil – Unidade Varginha.
E-mail: eduardo@varginha.cefetmg.br
Joel Yutaka Sugano: Graduado em Zootecnia pela Universidade Federal de Lavras.
Mestre em Administração pela Universidade Federal de Lavras. Doutor em Doctoral
Program in Japanese Economy and Business – Osaka University e Pós-Doutorado
pela Wageningen University – The Netherlands. Universidade Federal de Lavras,
Departamento de Administração e Economia. E-mail: joel.sugano@dae.ufla.br

INTERAÇÕES, Campo Grande, MS, v. 17, n. 3, p. 448-462, jul./set. 2016.