With the digital and technological transformation, firms tend to be more open to new collaborative innovation approaches. Customers are considered not just the final consumers of a product but innovation partners. Consumers exchange their ideas with firms using predominantly social media networks (SMNs). However regardless the boost of the use of SMNs to generate innovative ideas, the involvement of these digital tools in the open innovation (OI) model needs to be explored more. Few studies have already researched the benefits of the SMNs in the innovation process of
manufacturing industry but nobody has quantitatively explored these benefits in the service one. Therefore, the research fulfils the gap in the literature, measuring the relationship between users’ generated ideas and the OI model in the service industry. An empirical study has been conducted on a sample of 374 small to medium enterprises (SMEs) operating in the service industry in UK. Data were collected by administrating an
online questionnaire and were analysed by structural equation modelling (SEM). Findings show an academic aftermath by acting as trailblazer for evaluating the effect of open innovation on competitiveness of SMEs. Finally, academic and managerial implications were provided in addition to limits and further research.
Keywords: Open service innovation, user-engagement, users’ generated ideas, social media networks, SMEs innovation performance.