Open Innovation and Distributed Knowledge: An Analysis of their Characteristics and Prosumers’ Motives

By Karim Gherab-Martin and Alfonso Unceta Satrustegui.

Published by Knowledge Management: An International Journal

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Starting with examples of successful open innovation and distributed knowledge on the Internet, this paper deals with the motives behind the sometimes seemingly disinterested participation of many of the users or prosumers who generate knowledge and innovations. This will necessitate, in addition, an analysis of best practices for improving the efficiency of open and distributed innovation. We will present the case of InnoCentive in detail and make brief incursions into two other examples of distributed knowledge: open source software and Wikipedia.

Keywords: Distributed Knowledge, Granularity, Hidden Innovation, InnoCentive, Open Innovation, Open Source Software, Self-selection, Wikipedia

Knowledge Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.57-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 577.157KB).

Dr. Karim Gherab-Martin

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Madrid, Spain

Dr. Karim J. Gherab-Martin is a physicist and philosopher of science and technology, currently working as a researcher at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and teaching at the University San Pablo CEU, Madrid. He also is teaching at the Master on Innovation and Knowledge Management at the University of the Basque Country. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has worked as an IT consultant at several multinational companies for several years. Among other writings, he has co-authored several books such as Emerging Digital Spaces in Contemporary Society: Properties of Technology (Palgrave-Macmillan).

Alfonso Unceta Satrustegui

Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Pais Vasco, Spain

Dr. Alfonso Unceta has a PhD in Political Science and Sociology, and he is also Head Professor of Sociology at the University of the Basque Country. He has participated in over thirty research projects and external contracts. He has authored more than forty publications (books, collective books and articles in magazines). His main lines of work are Innovation, Education and Governance. Since 2007 he has been the Director of the Master Course on Innovation and Knowledge Management. He is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Communication. He was the Director of Universities and Deputy Councilor for Education of the Basque Government.