Purpose This study aims to understand if and how European digital innovation hubs (DIHs) filling the role of knowledge brokers (KBs) can support the digital transformation (DX) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by triggering open innovation (OI) practices. Design/methodology/approach After presenting a conceptual model of reference, a survey and a subsequent in-depth interview were conducted to capture evidence from Italian DIHs. These structures were selected for their growing importance, as confirmed by the National Plan for Industry 4.0. Findings The findings highlight that Italian DIHs act not only as KBs but also as knowledge sources that give rise to a digital imprinting process that is able to shape the DX of SMEs. Originality/value Research on knowledge sharing and OI has mainly focused on large firms. The study covers the gaps identified in the literature by considering the role of KBs in enabling SMEs to embrace DX.
The digital transformation of SMEs – a new knowledge broker called the digital innovation hub / Crupi, Antonio; Del Sarto, Nicola; Di Minin, Alberto; Gregori, Gian Luca; Lepore, Dominique; Marinelli, Luca; Spigarelli, Francesca. - In: JOURNAL OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1367-3270. - ELETTRONICO. - 24:6(2020), pp. 1263-1288. [10.1108/JKM-11-2019-0623]