This paper focuses on the interplay between firms and open and collaborative innovation communities. We develop a formal model where both volunteers (agents setting their agendas freely) and firm’s employees (agents whose agenda is mostly set by their employer) participate in the creation of a common artifact. In this framework, we discuss how firms can influence the architecture of the emerging product to assure fast and performant development and a desirable distribution of innovative labor within the project team. We find that closing the project only to employees implies high speed and performance if employees are given autonomy in certain dimensions and are directed in others. In this case, however, we observe a trade-off in terms of ideal core–periphery division of labor on one side and development speed and performance on the other side. At the opposite extreme, creating a volunteer-only project can ease the trade-off but assures positive results only if the firm is able to set up an entry mechanism that “surgically” selects volunteers with specific preferences. A mixture of both employees and volunteers can strike a good balance, relaxing the two constraints.

The interplay between volunteers and firm’s employees in distributed innovation: emergent architectures and stigmergy in open source software

Rullani, Francesco
;
2022

Abstract

This paper focuses on the interplay between firms and open and collaborative innovation communities. We develop a formal model where both volunteers (agents setting their agendas freely) and firm’s employees (agents whose agenda is mostly set by their employer) participate in the creation of a common artifact. In this framework, we discuss how firms can influence the architecture of the emerging product to assure fast and performant development and a desirable distribution of innovative labor within the project team. We find that closing the project only to employees implies high speed and performance if employees are given autonomy in certain dimensions and are directed in others. In this case, however, we observe a trade-off in terms of ideal core–periphery division of labor on one side and development speed and performance on the other side. At the opposite extreme, creating a volunteer-only project can ease the trade-off but assures positive results only if the firm is able to set up an entry mechanism that “surgically” selects volunteers with specific preferences. A mixture of both employees and volunteers can strike a good balance, relaxing the two constraints.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/5001611
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