Online computer technologies provide an effective means for communication, cooperation and coordination. In this paper we address the extent innovation based upon non-proprietary knowledge offers the participating actors an interesting alternative for product development. Such an alternative would allow parallel development and dynamic online exchanges during the overall innovation process. In conceptualizing online computer-based innovation process in the form of Open Source Software, the paper will borrow from theory on networks and communities of practice, which take into account social relations, contacts, transfer and incorporation of knowledge. The framework offered recognizes the necessity of focusing on the social dynamics and the structuring properties at work during such projects when trying to come to grips with the logics of this empirically interesting phenomenon. The paper concludes that online computer-based innovation fundamentally challenges the contemporary way of communication, cooperation and coordination during innovation and product developments. Moreover, it challenges the traditional business model in that it forces the actors involved to move the focus away from the innovation itself and upstream in the value chain to identifying new supporting services. In closing the paper addresses motivations of companies to integrate this alternative and non-proprietary way of product development into their proprietary business model. We do this by presenting an example.
Proceedings of Rent Xviii, 2004
Åben kilde software; Innovation; Online kommunikation; Praksisfællesskaber; Netværk; Open source software; Online communication; Communities of practices; Network