The visible hand and the crowd: Analyzing organization Design in Distributed Innovation Systems

Martin Kornberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The effectiveness and creativity of Linux, Wikipedia and a plethora of other distributed innovation systems has attracted the attention of scholars, practitioners and policy makers. The hallmark of these distributed innovation systems is that value creation transcends the boundaries of hierarchically organized firms. To date, only relatively few studies have focused on the organization design of distributed innovation systems. This conceptual paper addresses this lacuna by asking: How does organization design structure relationships in distributed innovation systems, including interactions between the “visible hand” of the manager and the “crowd” of distributed innovation? The purpose of this paper is to shift the unit of analysis of organization design from the individual firm to networks of actors providing a framework to study how design organizes distributed innovation systems. In order to do so three design mechanisms (interface design; the design of participatory architectures; and the design of evaluative infrastructures) are proposed through which firms and other network actors organize their encounter in “the open” and through which they manage communication, coordination of tasks and control in distributed innovation systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-193
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number2
Early online date10 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


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