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The network structure of product innovation: a case study on software development

The network structure of product innovation: a case study on software development


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Conaldi, Guido and Lomi, Alessandro (2009) The network structure of product innovation: a case study on software development. In: 25th EGOS Colloquium, 2-4 Jul 2009, Barcelona, Spain. (Unpublished)

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Innovation is crucial for competitive advantage of organizations and innovation models that hinge on communities of practices (CoPs) in order to coordinate distributed knowledge attract the attention of increasing numbers of managers. However, the new managerial challenges posed by these strategies and the heterogeneous results obtained by CoPs facing innovation challenges call for a deeper understanding of the social mechanisms that sustain the innovativeness of these communities. We contribute to fill this research gap with a case study that investigates the structure of the knowledge network connecting members of a CoP and searches recognizable patterns of interaction adopted by the CoP when pursuing innovation. Our case study is a Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) project representing a CoP whose members’ interactions are mostly computer-mediated. Our findings show that a distinguishable structural pattern of interaction is associated with episodes of product innovation. Specifically, the presence of a single dense core of knowledge exchanges involving all the members of the CoP who actually implement innovation appears to be a requirement for the innovation efforts to succeed.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: [1] This paper was presented at the 25th EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies) Colloquium held from 2-4 July 2009 at the ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain.
Uncontrolled Keywords: community of practice, routine, innovation, knowledge management, FLOSS Open Source Software, structural cohesion, social network analysis
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Business Network Analysis
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:14
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None

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