Being a researcher on the popular topic of open innovation is getting really time-consuming. When I wake up (let's say 8:00AM), first thing I do is to check my emails, check the news and - of course- check my RSS feeds and tweets on open innovation. Because when Europe is sleeping, Asia & America are still researching and blogging - that's why I first spent around 20-30min of catching up the latest buzz. Although gadgets like RSS readers or various Twitter-Tools have made research work relatively easy, it is getting more complex because there are so many information channels which I have to cover: Academic journals (which I am covering over the ProQuest database with automatic RSS information), classic newschannels, influental bloggers, other RSS feeds, Twitter friends and Tweets on Open Innovation.Currently, we are collecting data for my open innovation study. This is my main research task at the moment. We target the top 500 european companies and try to convince one key informant (usually CEO, CFO, R&D director, marketing director) to participate in our survey. Because I was a blue-eyed researcher I just started to approach these 500 companies by email and ask them to forward my inquiry to the person responsible. But, haha, life is not that easy. Currently, around 5% of the companies have actually sended me something like: "Sorry, we get so many requests - we are not able to fill out your lousy questionnaire. Please use the materials provided on our website. We are sure you will find something.". Unexpectedly, around 1-2% actually forwarded my email to the person responsible. And the rest (93%) didn't even answer.
Because of these bad results, we had to redesign data collection.We changed our top-down approach to a bottom-up approach and contacted around 150 key informants so far. We are using social networks (business networks like XING and LinkedIn) to contact relevant key informants like CEOs, CFOs, Managing Directors, and R&D directors on a direct, personal level. Currently we are receiving good results, with response rates of around 20%. But this is just the start. We will use and extend this approach in the next weeks.By the way, I am sure that there are already some new blog entries and tweets on open innovation, just after writing this short blog post. That's why I better stop here and start reading again (instead of writing).