Case | HBS Case Collection | June 2008 (Revised October 2009)

InnoCentive.com (A)

by Karim R. Lakhani

Abstract

InnoCentive.com, a firm connecting R&D labs of large organizations to diverse external solvers through innovation contests, has to decide if it will enable collaboration in its community. Case covers the basics of a distributed innovation system works and the advantages of having external R&D. Links how concepts of open source are applied to a non-software setting. Describes the rationale for participation by solvers in innovation contests and the benefits that accrue to firms. Raises the issue if a community can be shifted to collaboration when competition was the basis of prior interaction.

Keywords: Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Open Source Distribution; Research and Development; Competition; Cooperation;

Citation:

Lakhani, Karim R. "InnoCentive.com (A)." Harvard Business School Case 608-170, June 2008. (Revised October 2009.)