How Firms Leverage Crowds and Communities for Open Innovation
West, Joel & Jonathan Sims (2018). “How Firms Leverage Crowds and Communities,” in Allan Afuah, Christopher Tucci, and Gianluigi Viscusi, eds., Creating and Capturing Value through Crowdsourcing, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 58-96.
34 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2016 Last revised: 17 Sep 2020
Date Written: April 27, 2017
There are many similarities in how firms pursuing an open innovation strategy can utilize crowds and communities as sources of external innovations. At the same time, the differences between these two network forms of collaboration have previously been blurred or overlooked. In this chapter, we integrate research on crowds and communities, identifying a third form — a crowd-community hybrid — that combines attributes of both. We compare examples of each of these three network forms, such as open source software communities, gated contests, crowdsourcing tournaments, user-generated content and crowd science. We then summarize the intrinsic, extrinsic and structural factors that enable individual and organizational participation in these collaborations. Finally, we contrast how these collaborative forms differ regarding their degree of innovativeness and relevance to firm goals. From this, we identify opportunities for future research on these topics.
Keywords: Crowds, Crowdsourcing, Communities, Open Innovation, User Innovation, Open Source Software
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