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At the core of innovation: network reconfiguration during radical and incremental innovation episodes in an open source software project
by Guido Conaldi, Riccardo De Vita
International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences (IJIDS), Vol. 3, No. 1, 2011


Abstract: Innovation is crucial for competitive advantage of firms. The innovation model adopted by open source software projects has therefore attracted the attention of several managers. Consequently, private firms are increasingly supporting open source communities. However, the heterogeneous results obtained by open source software projects call for a deeper understanding of the organisational factors sustaining the innovativeness of these communities. We contribute to fill this gap through a case study that investigates which knowledge networks connecting developers inside open source communities support radical and incremental innovation. Our findings show that two distinguishable network configurations are associated with the two types of innovation. Particularly the presence of a single core of knowledge interaction involving the developers actually implementing the innovative code appears to be a requirement for radical innovation.

Online publication date: Fri, 04-Mar-2011


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