How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation

Stürmer, Matthias (2009). How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation (Unpublished). (Dissertation, ETH Zürich)

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When firms contribute to open source projects, they in fact invest into public goods which may be used by everyone, even by their competitors. This seemingly paradoxical behavior can be explained by the model of private-collective innovation where private investors participate in collective action. Previous literature has shown that companies benefit through the production process providing them with unique incentives such as learning and reputation effects. By contributing to open source projects firms are able to build a network of external individuals and organizations participating in the creation and development of the software. As will be shown in this doctoral dissertation firm-sponsored communities involve the formation of interorganizational relationships which eventually may lead to a source of sustained competitive advantage. However, managing a largely independent open source community is a challenging balancing act between exertion of control to appropriate value creation, and openness in order to gain and preserve credibility and motivate external contributions. Therefore, this dissertation consisting of an introductory chapter and three separate research papers analyzes characteristics of firm-driven open source communities, finds reasons why and mechanisms by which companies facilitate the creation of such networks, and shows how firms can benefit most from their communities.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems > Information Management
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems

UniBE Contributor:

Stürmer, Matthias

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexandra Barden

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2016 16:31

Last Modified:

19 Apr 2018 10:21

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.75052

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/75052

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