Doctoral thesis published - “How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation”
Tuesday November 03rd 2009, 7:46h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Research

Now it’s final final: The 40 printed copies of my doctoral dissertation have arrived (everything written and layoutet with Here on this blog I publish the abstract of the thesis and the PDF download of the introduction chapter (under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Switzerland license) without the appendix (because these are published research papers in scientific journals - so much about open access…). This introduction chapter can also be bought on Amazon for USD 79 ;)

Update 2011-04-26: I’m now publishing here the full PhD thesis including the three scientific papers in the appendix (PDF, 1.7MB).

How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation

Abstract: When firms contribute to open source projects, they in fact invest into public goods which may be used by everyone, even by their competitors. This seemingly paradoxical behavior can be explained by the model of private-collective innovation where private investors participate in collective action. Previous literature has shown that companies benefit through the production process providing them with unique incentives such as learning and reputation effects. By contributing to open source projects firms are able to build a network of external individuals and organizations participating in the creation and development of the software. As will be shown in this doctoral dissertation firm-sponsored communities involve the formation of interorganizational relationships which eventually may lead to a source of sustained competitive advantage. However, managing a largely independent open source community is a challenging balancing act between exertion of control to appropriate value creation, and openness in order to gain and preserve credibility and motivate external contributions. Therefore, this dissertation consisting of an introductory chapter and three separate research papers analyzes characteristics of firm-driven open source communities, finds reasons why and mechanisms by which companies facilitate the creation of such networks, and shows how firms can benefit most from their communities.

How Firms Make Friends: Communities in Private-Collective Innovation

4 Comments so far
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super, gratuliere!

Comment by david 11.03.09 @ 8:53h

Schön! Herzliche Gratulation,

Comment by nadja 11.05.09 @ 19:59h

Great! Good job! Hat die Printversion dieses Cover? … cool. LG, Marcus

Comment by digisus 11.06.09 @ 23:17h

Ja, habe dieses Cover von der OSS Broschüre ( übernommen ;)

Comment by matthias 11.07.09 @ 9:19h

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