Innovating Without Information Constraints: Organizations, Communities, and Innovation When Information Costs Approach Zero
Innovation traditionally takes place within an organization's boundaries and with selected partners. This Chandlerian approach is rooted in transaction costs, organizational boundaries, and information challenges. Information processing, storage, and communication costs have been an important constraint on innovation and a reason why innovation takes place inside the organization. However, exponential technological progress is dramatically decreasing information constraints, and in many contexts, information costs are approaching zero. We discuss how reduced information costs enable organizations to engage communities of developers, professionals, and users for core innovative activities, frequently through platforms, ecosystems, and incorporating user innovation. We suggest that when information constraints drop dramatically, and the locus of innovation shifts to the larger community, there are profound challenges to the received theory of the firm and to theories of organization and innovation. Specifically, we consider how shifts in information costs affect organizational boundaries, business models, interdependence, leadership, identity, search, and intellectual property.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2013|
|Date of revision:||Sep 2014|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163|
Web page: http://www.hbs.edu/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kevin Boudreau, 2010. "Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(10), pages 1849-1872, October.
- Jenny C. Aker, 2010. "Information from Markets Near and Far: Mobile Phones and Agricultural Markets in Niger," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 46-59, July.
- Christensen, Clayton M., 1993. "The Rigid Disk Drive Industry: A History of Commercial and Technological Turbulence," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(04), pages 531-588, December.
- Geroski, P. A., 2000.
"Models of technology diffusion,"
Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 603-625, April.
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
- Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985.
"The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration,"
372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
- Grossman, Sanford J. & Hart, Oliver D., 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Scholarly Articles 3450060, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Erik J. Brynjolfsson & Thomas Malone & Vijay Gurbaxani & Ajit Kambil, 1991.
"Does Information Technology Lead to Smaller Firms?,"
Working Paper Series
123, MIT Center for Coordination Science.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Thomas W. Malone & Vijay Gurbaxani & Ajit Kambil, 1994. "Does Information Technology Lead to Smaller Firms?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(12), pages 1628-1644, December.
- Kenneth J. Arrow, 1975. "Vertical Integration and Communication," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 173-183, Spring.
- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Shane Greenstein & Jeff Prince, 2006. "The Diffusion of the Internet and the Geography of the Digital Divide in the United States," NBER Working Papers 12182, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Teece, David J., 1982. "Towards an economic theory of the multiproduct firm," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 39-63, March.
- Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & David B. Yoffie, 2007. "Wintel: Cooperation and Conflict," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(4), pages 584-598, April.
- Dahlander, Linus & Gann, David M., 2010. "How open is innovation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 699-709, July.
- Timothy F. Bresnahan & Shane Greenstein & Rebecca M. Henderson, 2011. "Schumpeterian Competition and Diseconomies of Scope: Illustrations from the Histories of Microsoft and IBM," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, pages 203-271 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Chesbrough, Henry W., 2003. "Environmental influences upon firm entry into new sub-markets: Evidence from the worldwide hard disk drive industry conditionally," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 659-678, April.
- Geoffrey G. Parker & Marshall W. Van Alstyne, 2005. "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(10), pages 1494-1504, October.
- Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:14-043. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.