Infoscience

Thesis

Three Essays on Collective Forms of Organizing for Production and Innovation

This dissertation focuses on collective forms or organizing that through crowds or communities undertake production or innovation activities. Such organizations deviate from the traditional notions of hierarchy, authority, and control; however, they are still able to engage in production and innovation activities, directly competing with bureaucratic organizations. Specifically, this dissertation focuses on communities for production and crowds for innovation, adopting different theoretical angles. The first chapter of this thesis introduces the concept of collective organizations for innovation and production. I present a framework that comprises both traditional and modern collective organizations, such as producer cooperatives, user communities, crowdsourcing, and the most recent distributed ledgers, the base of cryptocurrencies. Chapter two and three concentrates on communities for production, more specifically, on the producer cooperatives’ cooperative-commercial hybrid nature. While chapter two focuses on the influence of organizational hybridity on market strategies and competitive behavior; chapter three analyzes the conditions under which hybrid organizations affect market competitive dynamics and institutions. These chapters speak not only to the literature on communities for production but also to other hybrid organizations, which instantiate different and potentially conflicting logics under the same organizational roof. Chapter four (with Gianluigi Viscusi and Christopher Tucci) focuses on crowds for innovation, investigating the differences between crowds and communities, and the various types of crowds governance modes, such as crowd-driven, crowd-based, and crowded. This chapter not only defines what is a crowd organization but also provides guidelines about how firms can govern crowds for knowledge generativity¿€”spontaneous innovation.

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