How Disclosure Policies Impact Search in Open Innovation
Kevin J. Boudreau
London Business School
Harvard Business School - Technology and Operations Management Group; Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science
July 2, 2013
Harvard Business School Technology & Operations Mgt. Unit Working Paper
Most of society’s innovation systems–academic science, the patent system, open source, etc.–are “open” in the sense they are designed to facilitate knowledge disclosures amongst innovators. An essential difference across innovation systems, however, is whether disclosures take place only after final innovations are completed or whether disclosures relate to intermediate solutions and advances. We present experimental evidence showing that implementing intermediate versus final disclosures does not just create quantitative tradeoffs in shaping the rate of innovation. Rather, it qualitatively transforms the very nature of the innovation search process. Intermediate disclosures have the advantage of efficiently steering development towards improving existing solu- tions, but curtails experimentation and wider search. We discuss comparative advantages of systems implementing intermediate versus final disclosures.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: Policy, open innovation, search, investment incentives, knowledge spillovers and reuse, field experiment
JEL Classification: O3, J0, D02working papers series
Date posted: July 2, 2013 ; Last revised: November 8, 2013
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