Dominant Communities and Dominant Designs: Community-Based Innovation in the Context of the Technology Life Cycle

Strategic Organization, Volume 14(4), Forthcoming

49 Pages Posted: 18 May 2016

See all articles by Victor P. Seidel

Victor P. Seidel

Babson College; Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; University of Oxford

Benedikt Langner

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Jonathan Sims

Babson College - Management Division

Date Written: March 31, 2016

Abstract

Online community-based innovation — whether through self-organized communities, firm-community collaborations, or innovation contests and crowdsourcing — is increasingly used as a source of technological advances, yet studies in this domain are often detached from considering the dynamics of technological evolution itself. Where technological advances reside (knowledge distribution), the degree to which innovation tasks can be specified (task decomposition), and the rate of technological progress (performance trajectory) all vary dramatically over the technology life cycle. These factors have implications for what forms of online crowds and communities are most likely to contribute technological advances. We provide a dynamic model of the expected “dominant communities” for technological advances at each phase of the life cycle, and we draw on examples from open source software and consumer 3D printing to illustrate the model. Our objectives are to determine how different forms of community-based innovation dominate at different times, to ground innovation models more firmly in material technological advances, and to provide focus for future research in this domain.

Keywords: Crowdsourcing, Communities, Innovation, Technology

JEL Classification: O33, O31

Suggested Citation

Seidel, Victor P. and Langner, Benedikt and Sims, Jonathan, Dominant Communities and Dominant Designs: Community-Based Innovation in the Context of the Technology Life Cycle (March 31, 2016). Strategic Organization, Volume 14(4), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2781095

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.seas.harvard.edu/directory/vseidel

University of Oxford ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

HOME PAGE: http://www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/community/people/victor-seidel

Benedikt Langner

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

Jonathan Sims

Babson College - Management Division ( email )

Babson Park, MA 02157
United States

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