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Siemens Case Study Hbr

Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2013 (Revised March 2015)

Open Innovation at Siemens

Karim R. Lakhani, Katja Hutter, Stephanie Healy Pokrywa and Johann Fuller

The case describes Siemens, a worldwide innovator in the Energy, Healthcare, Industry, and Infrastructure & Cities sectors, and its efforts to develop and commercialize new R&D through open innovation, including internal and external crowdsourcing contests. Emphasis is placed on exploring actual open innovation initiatives within Siemens and their outcomes. These include creating internal social- and knowledge-sharing networks and utilzing third party platforms to host internal and external contests. Industries discussed include energy, green technology, infrastructure and cities, and sustainability. In addition, the importance of fostering a collaborative online environment and protecting intellectual property is explored.

Keywords: innovation; innovation management; crowdsourcing; information technology; Research and Development; Innovation Strategy; Innovation and Management; Knowledge Management; Knowledge Sharing; Research and Development; Energy Industry; Health Industry; Green Technology Industry; Manufacturing Industry;

Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2017

Digitalization at Siemens

by David J. Collis and Tonia Junker


The case discusses the digitalization strategy of Siemens AG, a German-based company operating in manufacturing and electronics. The increasing impact of digital technologies on all of its business units had prompted CEO Joe Kaeser and his team to put digitalization at the core of the new corporate strategy, alongside electrification and automation. The challenge was to balance this corporate initiative with the many business units within Siemens, which were used to being independent and had very specific offerings for their clients. For its new analytics platform, Siemens had opted for a push and pull approach to involve business units in its creation, rather than conceptualizing the platform centrally and imposing it on the business units afterwards. The jury was still out on whether this approach would drive digitalization within Siemens fast enough, given the exponential developments in data generation and analytics.

Keywords: Company management; corporate strategy; competition; information technology; technology networks; Corporate Strategy; Competition; Information Technology; Technology Networks; Manufacturing Industry; Electronics Industry;