NYU Stern Research Shows How Open-Innovation Business Models Spur Advancement and Maintain Productivity Levels
— February 17, 2017
By Hila Lifshitz-Assaf
In a first-of-its-kind series of studies over a ten-year period, the co-authors developed a machine-learning algorithm to analyze and categorize more than 700,000 revisions to a sample set of 1,000 articles posted to Wikipedia, one of the most notable examples of open-source online communities. Specifically, the authors find:
- Although a large percentage of contributors may only engage in the community once, production at an organizational level is highly stable over time.
- Individual contributors change roles over time, but, as a collective, they naturally cluster into activity patterns that respond to the work required at a particular point in time, ensuring consistent and reliable work flow.
- These trends remain steady even when the organization goes through fundamental changes in structure and governance.
The first paper in the series, “Turbulent Stability of Emergent Roles: The Dualistic Nature of Self-Organizing Knowledge Co-Production,” is forthcoming in Information Systems Research.