Communities of Creation: Managing Distributed Innovation in Turbulent Markets

by Mohanbir Sawhney, Emanuela Prandelli



A new model for managing distributed innovation, the community of creation is a governance mechanism for managing innovation that lies between the hierarchy-based (closed) mechanism and the market-based (open) mechanism for innovation management. The community-centric model shifts the locus of innovation beyond the boundaries of the firm, to a community of individuals and firms that collaborate to create joint intellectual property. A community of creation requires an identified sponsor, a set of ground rules for participation, and a system for managing intellectual property rights. The community of creation model allows innovation to proceed in a complex environment by striking a balance between order and chaos. This article presents detailed case studies from the computer industry to highlight the differences among the different approaches to innovation management. It also discusses the opportunities and the unresolved issues of the community of creation model for practitioners as well as for academics.

California Management Review

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Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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