Open Innovation Learning
Peer Reviewed
Field of study
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Business and Business Management
Corporate Management
Open Innovation Learning Theory building on open sourcing while private sourcing
David Ing
Field of study
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Business and Business Management
Corporate Management
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Organizations embark on open innovation initiatives to sweep in external knowledge, practices and resources in cooperation with partners. This contrasts to the mainstream private innovation approach of in-house research and development sponsored solely by an incorporated funder, with intellectual property protected by copyright. Few organizations simultaneously engage in both approaches. How does learning occur in such an organization -- and the communities of members within the organization -- in both cumulative and distributed ways?

The open innovation learning exhibited by IBM in the decade of 2001-2011 provides a foundation for building both descriptive theories and normative theories. Legal protocols for open source licensing began in 1998, and "open innovation" became popular in the business press from 2003. At the beginning of the 2001-2011 period, a behaviour of open sourcing by commercial enterprises departed from a tradition of private sourcing that presumes trade secrets for competitive advantage that maintaining economic viability. After a decade, Open Sourcing while Private Sourcing (OSwPS) had been demonstrated as a successful way of doing business at IBM, and had also become adopted by other companies and institutions.

The primary method employed to appreciate the phenomenon of OSwPS is multiparadigm inquiry. Theories are developed inductively from seven case studies, characterized in five containing contexts over the period, in a process orientation observing events, activities and choices ordered over time. Three descriptive theories have been built in parallel perspectives based on contrasting philosophies. Pursuit of a normative theory subsequently led to the proposal of additional hypotheses.

Emerging theories of open innovation learning challenge a presumption that commercial and non-commercial interests are incompatible. Open sourcing while private sourcing is a demonstrable way of conducting a viable business.

ISBN 978-1-7751672-0-4
Imprint Coevolving Innovations Inc.
DOI 10.20850/9781775167204
Copyright 2017, David Ing
Copyright License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Product Details 8.27 x 11.69 Standard Color Glossy Perfect Bound
Page Count 670 pages
Type of Publication Monograph (standalone)
Peer Review Status Post-publication, Completed
Keywords open innovation, learning, open sourcing, private sourcing
Audience Scholarly
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