A Model for Collaborative Value Creation

16 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2022

See all articles by Herman Donner

Herman Donner

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Date Written: September 12, 2021


We outline how networks fuel creativity, and the benefits of collaboration for both organizations and individuals. Despite the benefits, individuals and organizational alike tend to fail at capturing the opportunities created from matching complimentary skills and resources. Human capital has limited value unless exposed to complementary resources, and the traditional way of bringing people with different skills together, is through a firm that sets overreaching organizational goals and creates processes to reach those goals. Consequently, many professionals have under-utilized human capital, as they lack access to complimentary ideas, skills, and resources outside of full-time employment.

We explore an organizational model for collaborative value creation, that would offer individuals access to opportunity and resources beyond their personal networks, thus offering a way for individuals to engage professionally, without the constraints of employment or the responsibility of having a firm. This could be on a full-time basis, or on the side of a full-time job, but in essence, we aim to answer the question of how to have a firm, without a firm?

Challenges associated with networks, and by extension, collaboration are outlined. Core challenges include: 1) human biases towards people who are alike themselves when building a network, 2) organizational inability to identify competency and resource gaps, and 3) the need for mutual trust for collaboration to take place.

To address these challenges, we propose an organization that can be defined as a community for value creation through collaboration, with processes in place to bring people with complementary skills, interests, and resources together. We also explore the role of trust, and how selectivity and rules of engagement can promote collaborative behavior within a group.

Keywords: Networks, Collaboration, Knowledge Spillovers, Knowledge Management

JEL Classification: L2, M5, 03

Suggested Citation

Donner, Herman, A Model for Collaborative Value Creation (September 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4018586 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4018586

Herman Donner (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, 94305
United States

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