Active knowledge exchange with users and partners in open innovation: the case study of Xiaomi

Bruce Boyes
Jun 20 · 6 min read

Open innovation

Pivotal to Xiaomi’s success is the way in which the company actively exchanges knowledge with users and partners in an open innovation system.

Closed innovation system
Closed innovation system
Figure 1. Closed innovation system (source: Chesbrough 2012).
Open innovation system
Open innovation system
Figure 2. Open innovation system (source: Chesbrough 2012).

Xiaomi’s open innovation system

Three kinds of products constitute the basis of Xiaomi’s open innovation system: the Xiaomi smartphone series, the MIUI smartphone operating system, and the smart home products which are manufactured by other companies in partnership with Xiaomi.

The innovative characteristics of Xiaomi’s open innovation system
The innovative characteristics of Xiaomi’s open innovation system
Figure 3. The innovative characteristics of Xiaomi’s open innovation system (source: Ortiz et al. 2019).
Institutional practices of Xiaomi’s open innovation system
Institutional practices of Xiaomi’s open innovation system
Figure 4. Institutional practices of Xiaomi’s open innovation system (source: Ortiz et al. 2019).
Evolution of institutional logic in Xiaomi’s open innovation system
Evolution of institutional logic in Xiaomi’s open innovation system
Figure 5. Evolution of institutional logic in Xiaomi’s open innovation system (source: Ortiz et al. 2019).

Active knowledge exchange in real time

As shown in Figures 3 and 4 and discussed in the video above, Xiaomi’s open innovation system facilitates active knowledge exchange in real time with users and partners. This means that not only can Xiaomi provide useful information directly to users and partners, but that it can very quickly identify problems and issues of concern and then immediately address them.

  1. For a more detailed introduction to open innovation, and how it relates to knowledge management, please see the slides from my “Transforming mindsets — leading the way with innovation” masterclass at the Knowledge Management Singapore 2018 (KMSG18) conference.
  2. Chesbrough, H. (2012). Open innovation: Where we’ve been and where we’re going. Research-Technology Management, 55(4), 20–27.

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Bruce Boyes

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It’s about people: helping people to learn, know, participate, act and interact has been the focus of my diverse career.

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