Horizontal Innovation Networks - By and For Users

29 Pages Posted: 30 May 2009 Last revised: 24 Dec 2014

See all articles by Eric A. von Hippel

Eric A. von Hippel

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

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Date Written: May 29, 2009

Abstract

Innovation development, production, distribution and consumption networks can be built up horizontally – with actors consisting only of innovation users (more precisely, "user/self-manufacturers"). Some open source software projects are examples of such networks, and examples can be found in the case of physical products as well. In this paper we discuss three conditions under which user innovation networks can function entirely independently of manufacturers. We then explore related empirical evidence and conclude that conditions favorable to horizontal user innovation networks are often present in the economy.

Keywords: horizontal innovation networks, user innovation, information revealing

Suggested Citation

von Hippel, Eric, Horizontal Innovation Networks - By and For Users (May 29, 2009). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4366-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1411719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1411719

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