Article | Organization Science | November – December 2011

Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation

by Carliss Baldwin and Eric von Hippel

Abstract

In this paper, we assess the economic viability of innovation by producers relative to two increasingly important alternative models: innovations by single-user individuals or firms and open collaborative innovation. We analyze the design costs and architectures and communication costs associated with each model. We conclude that both innovation by individual users and open collaborative innovation increasingly compete with and may displace producer innovation in many parts of the economy. We explain why this represents a paradigm shift with respect to innovation research, policy making, and practice. We discuss important implications and offer suggestions for further research.

Keywords: Collaborative Innovation and Invention; Design; Cost; Communication; Competition; Economy; Research; Policy; Practice;

Citation:

Baldwin, Carliss, and Eric von Hippel. "Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation." Organization Science 22, no. 6 (November–December 2011): 1399–1417.