Inderscience Publishers

Open source: an opportunity structure for boundless innovation

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

The methods Open Innovation (OI) and Open Source Innovation (OSI) are often highlighted together as new forms of the creation of innovation. Their respective peculiarities are considered only rarely, because ? as Abdelkafi et al. argue in 2009 ? for many it suffices to say that both innovation methods imply an open participation of human resources. This is however not the case. By answering the question of which ways of innovation support which method, this assumption will be disproved. The comparative analysis of both methods will show that OI does open make-or-buy-practices in a radical and goal-oriented way; however, the problem space previously defined by the company is not changeable. This leads to a considerable limitation of the opportunities of participation. By contrast, the method OSI stands for collective action and an innovation path which is similar to discovery procedures: the problem space is open and anybody is invited to collaborate. It is here that one finds the potential for the opening of societies.

Keywords: path creation, collective action, open innovation, open source innovation

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