Open innovation (OI) communities have dramatically changed our conceptions of how innovation can and should be managed and have prompted calls for new theories of innovation (von Hippel and von Krogh 2003). OI communities with customers can act as a source for learning and producing external ideas or even solutions to companies. As earlier studies indicate that collective problem solving improves the quality of ideas, motivating and supporting collaboration in online OI communities is important. This explorative study explores collaboration in online OI communities by answering two questions. The first question considers users' motivations to collaborate in OI communities, while the second one explores how rewarding can be used to motivate collaboration in OI communities. The study consists of three cases: CrowdSpirit, FellowForce and Owela. The preliminary results are based on the data gathered by interviewing maintainers of the communities and by a questionnaire to the community members. According to the results, the users were motivated to collaborate by interesting objectives and the concept of the community, gaining new viewpoints from other users, obtaining better products and receiving rewards. The results also indicate that the lack of proper tools inhibits collaboration in OI communities. Furthermore, an OI community's rewarding strategy should be transparent and logical. Rewarding should be based on the efforts and quality of the work rather than on giving rewards based on the quantity of ideas or lotteries. The system should be flexible so that rewards vary in different situations and phases of the work. The equity and democracy of the rewarding system are important factors for OI community users. Additionally, customisability of the rewarding strategy ensures that users can influence, on some level, the nature of the rewards they receive, and the rewards will therefore be more valuable to everyone This explorative study is one of the first studies of collaboration in online OI communities. In addition to serving academia, the study provides practical knowledge on how to reward and motivate groups of members on the web to companies and the growing number of OI intermediaries building or planning to build innovation communities.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 5th European conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Athens,16 - 17 September 2010|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|MoE publication type||A4 Article in a conference publication|
- online communities
- open innovation
- case study