Applying the hub-and-spoke model to virtual communities: the IBM innovation approach
by Maria Cristina Longo; Sonia Caterina Giaccone; Francesco Garraffo
International Journal of Technology Marketing (IJTMKT), Vol. 8, No. 2, 2013

Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the contribution of virtual communities in fostering innovation process by aggregating into an innovation-hub. Acting as centre of knowledge integration and value creation, the innovation-hub is a meta-organisation, parallel to the traditional R&D labs. We believe that this innovation system operates according to a hub-and-spoke model in which employees communicate informally on the web and openly collaborate on innovation to strengthen the firm competitiveness. Despite its strategic role, relatively little is known about the hub's effectiveness in supporting innovation process, connectivity, operational and motivational mechanisms. In order to gain insights to build a theory, we study in-depth the case of IBM innovation-hub and define some propositions. The research contributes to fill the theoretical gap related to the hub model and to provide suggestions for managers about innovation strategies, by maximising the value created by the innovation-hub.

Online publication date: Wed, 15-May-2013

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