Open Innovation in Camst. A people-centred approach to Sustainability

Laura Toschi, Massimiliano Ghini December 15, 2021


Camst was founded in 1945 in Bologna (Italy) and has since become a leader in the catering sector. The case describes projects that Camst implemented to meet UN Sustainability Development Goals and represents examples of open innovation based on the engagement of people, under the company leadership. Now, the challenge for Camst is to scale up this approach in order to foster an environment that facilitates open innovation at all levels of the Group. The Camst case is designed to prompt students to think about the components of leadership necessary to spread and sustain an open innovation approach to organizational development. The case illustrates how a leader in a mature industry is able to augment its culture of innovation by implementing a people-centered approach to sustainability. Francesco Malaguti, President of the Camst Group, has introduced an open innovation management style to foster a dialogue among internal and external stakeholders—including employees, suppliers, clients, business partners and start-ups—and thereby gain a competitive advantage. The case provides an opportunity to distill the lessons learned and reflect upon the means by which the same spirit of innovation can be achieved in different companies, at all levels, without functional or geographical boundaries.

Target for Teaching

  • Open Innovation
  • Leadership

Target audience and Issues

The case is suitable for use with undergraduate and postgraduate students in study programmes involving leadership and innovation. It is particularly well suited for MBA classes and executive programmes, where it will prompt a greater depth of discussion and incline students to share ideas about best practices in these situations.

Teaching objectives

Through discussion and debate, students will examine:

  • the importance of culture, values and vision with regard to open innovation;
  • the impact of leadership in facilitating a people-centered approach to open innovation;
  • the challenges of scaling up open innovation;
This abstract is based on
Open Innovation in CAMST. A people-centred approach to Sustainability | Case Study: Reference no. 421-0113-1 | Teaching Note: Reference no. 421-0113-8