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Network properties and innovation generation: comparing intra-organizational networks in the open source software industry

Network properties and innovation generation: comparing intra-organizational networks in the open source software industry

De Vita, Riccardo and Conaldi, Guido ORCID: 0000-0003-3552-7307 (2010) Network properties and innovation generation: comparing intra-organizational networks in the open source software industry. In: 6th Uk Social Networks Conference, 14-16 April, 2010, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The relevance of intra-organizational networks in promoting innovation and fostering knowledge exchange has been widely acknowledged in the organizational literature. However, existing research provide contradicting results as different network structures have been associated with innovation generation.
In this paper, a semi-experimental approach is used to address this research topic. In the same industry we select multiple intra-organizational networks that show opposite innovative capacity. We apply exponential random graph models (ERGMs) in order to capture the influence of local network structures and actor-relation covariates on the overall network configurations we measure. Then we compute differences in predicted tie probabilities across all pairs of intra-organizational networks by using the ERGM parameters we estimated. Finally, the relative similarity among all the networks is computed though correspondence analysis.
In the analysis we compare organizations showing different innovative capacity and shed light on which are the local network structures that facilitate innovation. When selecting the organizations to include in the sample, we control for variables known in the literature to be associated with innovation generation (e.g. size, characteristics of members of the organizations)
The empirical context of our study is the software industry. We choose multiple Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) projects in accordance with our semi-experimental approach. Studying innovation in such a context is particularly relevant as innovation capacity is crucial to the survival and growth of software projects. Furthermore the choice of knowledge-intensive industries is consistent with the existing empirical literature on network structures and innovation. Our study addresses issues at the core of the academic debate on innovation networks and provides insights for theoretical advancements as well as for the managerial practice.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: intra-organisational networks, innovation, open source software, social network analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Business Network Analysis
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 16:48
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/5112

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