The Dynamics of Openness and the Role of User Communities: A Case Study in the Ecosystem of Open Source Gaming Handhelds

Michael Zaggl, Tim Schweisfurth, Cornelius Herstatt

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

To remain competitive, it is critical for firms to integrate
external sources of knowledge. However, finding the right
degree of openness is challenging, especially in complex open innovation
ecosystems. The interdependencies and dynamics related
to the choice of openness are not well-understood. This paper investigates
the role of openness as a competitive mechanism. Specifically,
we research how openness affects firms’ interactions with
user communities and how it changes the preference structure of
customers. We build a longitudinal case study in the open source
gaming handheld industry and trace the evolution and the dynamics
of firms, user communities, and their interactions. We find that
a suboptimal level of openness can pose a threat to a firm’s very existence.
Further, we identify repeated patterns characterizing the
dynamics in the ecosystem. Based on these patterns, we propose a
framework of the dynamics of openness. Our paper contributes to
the literature on open innovation. We illuminate the relevance and
the dynamics of openness as a dimension for competition. This paper
also contributes to the literature on user innovation by showing
a shift from manufacturer-based to user-based innovation over the
course of the product lifecycle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalI E E E Transactions on Engineering Management
ISSN0018-9391
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2019

Fingerprint

Ecosystems
Innovation
Open source
Openness
Ecosystem
Gaming
Industry

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Ecosystems
  • Industries
  • Integrated circuits
  • Knowledge engineering
  • Organizations
  • Technological innovation
  • crowdsourcing
  • dynamics
  • entrepreneurship
  • innovation management
  • open source software
  • organizational aspects
  • organizations
  • research and development management
  • technology management
  • user-generated content
  • virtual groups

Cite this

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title = "The Dynamics of Openness and the Role of User Communities: A Case Study in the Ecosystem of Open Source Gaming Handhelds",
abstract = "To remain competitive, it is critical for firms to integrateexternal sources of knowledge. However, finding the rightdegree of openness is challenging, especially in complex open innovationecosystems. The interdependencies and dynamics relatedto the choice of openness are not well-understood. This paper investigatesthe role of openness as a competitive mechanism. Specifically,we research how openness affects firms’ interactions withuser communities and how it changes the preference structure ofcustomers. We build a longitudinal case study in the open sourcegaming handheld industry and trace the evolution and the dynamicsof firms, user communities, and their interactions. We find thata suboptimal level of openness can pose a threat to a firm’s very existence.Further, we identify repeated patterns characterizing thedynamics in the ecosystem. Based on these patterns, we propose aframework of the dynamics of openness. Our paper contributes tothe literature on open innovation. We illuminate the relevance andthe dynamics of openness as a dimension for competition. This paperalso contributes to the literature on user innovation by showinga shift from manufacturer-based to user-based innovation over thecourse of the product lifecycle.",
keywords = "Collaboration, Ecosystems, Industries, Integrated circuits, Knowledge engineering, Organizations, Technological innovation, crowdsourcing, dynamics, entrepreneurship, innovation management, open source software, organizational aspects, organizations, research and development management, technology management, user-generated content, virtual groups",
author = "Michael Zaggl and Tim Schweisfurth and Cornelius Herstatt",
year = "2019",
doi = "10.1109/TEM.2019.2897900",
language = "English",
journal = "I E E E Transactions on Engineering Management",
issn = "0018-9391",
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The Dynamics of Openness and the Role of User Communities : A Case Study in the Ecosystem of Open Source Gaming Handhelds . / Zaggl, Michael ; Schweisfurth, Tim; Herstatt, Cornelius.

In: I E E E Transactions on Engineering Management, 2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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T1 - The Dynamics of Openness and the Role of User Communities

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AU - Zaggl, Michael

AU - Schweisfurth, Tim

AU - Herstatt, Cornelius

PY - 2019

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N2 - To remain competitive, it is critical for firms to integrateexternal sources of knowledge. However, finding the rightdegree of openness is challenging, especially in complex open innovationecosystems. The interdependencies and dynamics relatedto the choice of openness are not well-understood. This paper investigatesthe role of openness as a competitive mechanism. Specifically,we research how openness affects firms’ interactions withuser communities and how it changes the preference structure ofcustomers. We build a longitudinal case study in the open sourcegaming handheld industry and trace the evolution and the dynamicsof firms, user communities, and their interactions. We find thata suboptimal level of openness can pose a threat to a firm’s very existence.Further, we identify repeated patterns characterizing thedynamics in the ecosystem. Based on these patterns, we propose aframework of the dynamics of openness. Our paper contributes tothe literature on open innovation. We illuminate the relevance andthe dynamics of openness as a dimension for competition. This paperalso contributes to the literature on user innovation by showinga shift from manufacturer-based to user-based innovation over thecourse of the product lifecycle.

AB - To remain competitive, it is critical for firms to integrateexternal sources of knowledge. However, finding the rightdegree of openness is challenging, especially in complex open innovationecosystems. The interdependencies and dynamics relatedto the choice of openness are not well-understood. This paper investigatesthe role of openness as a competitive mechanism. Specifically,we research how openness affects firms’ interactions withuser communities and how it changes the preference structure ofcustomers. We build a longitudinal case study in the open sourcegaming handheld industry and trace the evolution and the dynamicsof firms, user communities, and their interactions. We find thata suboptimal level of openness can pose a threat to a firm’s very existence.Further, we identify repeated patterns characterizing thedynamics in the ecosystem. Based on these patterns, we propose aframework of the dynamics of openness. Our paper contributes tothe literature on open innovation. We illuminate the relevance andthe dynamics of openness as a dimension for competition. This paperalso contributes to the literature on user innovation by showinga shift from manufacturer-based to user-based innovation over thecourse of the product lifecycle.

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KW - Ecosystems

KW - Industries

KW - Integrated circuits

KW - Knowledge engineering

KW - Organizations

KW - Technological innovation

KW - crowdsourcing

KW - dynamics

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KW - innovation management

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