The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, investigate the theory of governance and open innovation by adding the process of value creation and value capture; secondly, to discuss the potential link between open innovation and economic sustainability. With the current emphasis of the literature being on either the value creation or value capture processes, the phenomenon of open innovation is only partially understood. To help broaden this understanding, we conducted an in-depth case study of the processes behind the transformation of governance structures at Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), which led to the emergence of both value creation and capture processes. A multi project analysis (from 1994 to 2012) has point out that IKCO have created and developed a formal value creation and capture processes from the part level through to the architectural level, allowing a gradual openness at those levels and at the same time ensuring a greater economic sustainability of the IKCO business. These findings reveal the existence of four unique levels of open innovation in product development architecture. Practical implications are also provided relating the impact that each of these levels can have on the economic sustainable model of the firms in the manufacturing sector.
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