Collaborating with Customers to Innovate

Collaborating with Customers to Innovate

Conceiving and Marketing Products in the Networking Age

Emanula Prandelli, Mohanbir Sawhney and Gianmario Verona

The book enriches an important debate in management and in academia on the new product development process. It encompasses marketing approaches and is sharply focused on the opportunities that digital technologies have created for involving customers in collaborative innovation, and actionable recommendations for putting collaborative innovation to work.

Chapter 8: Open-Source Systems

Emanula Prandelli, Mohanbir Sawhney and Gianmario Verona

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, marketing, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, knowledge management, organisational innovation


INTRODUCTION This chapter is devoted to the most open and etherarchical development model to support distributed innovation: open-source systems (OSS). As mentioned in Chapter 5, OSS are an outgrowth of virtual communities. They are run by and for the users to provide themselves with mutual technical assistance (Constant et al., 1996) and create new products or services (Kogut and Metiu, 2001; von Hippel, 2001). More specifically, these systems can be described as Internet-based communities. The members are typically developers who group together spontaneously to develop software for their own use or for the firms they belong to. For some time now, OSS have become an important cultural and economic phenomenon (von Krogh, 2003) and now represent a real innovation model, the so-called ‘Private–Collective Innovation Model’, which reconciles the diametrically opposite features of the Private Investment Model, based on a monopoly control of knowledge for innovation, and the Collective Action Model, which makes knowledge for innovation a public good that belongs to the public domain and cannot be withheld from its use (von Hippel and von Krogh, 2003). According to Giuri et al. (2007), up to now, most theoretical studies on OSS have focused attention on what motivates participants to share their knowledge, the social norms and collaborative methods the developers agree to adopt, and the implications for business and society (for example, von Hippel, 2001; Lerner and Tirole, 2002). Empirical studies have studied the performances of OSS compared to traditional software development models in terms of quality, response...

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