Linking Commons, Communities, and Innovation

Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


To approach the institutional tensions that affect innovation communities, this chapter starts out with a reception of the existing body of research in connection with common-pool resources. While initial interpretations of the commons emphasized their implicit vulnerabilities and thus revealed rather tragic notions, especially Ostrom’s insights on self-organized governance instead propose ways in which collective groups that jointly provide common-pool resources can guard themselves against free-riding and private appropriation.

To elaborate the linkages between commons, communities, and innovation further, this chapter proceeds with the state of research associated with topics of open and distributed innovation. My review of related work selectively focuses on available conceptions of the community form as well as the corresponding patterns of “doing” community-based innovations. It is shown that since innovation communities mainly draw on value-based bonds that appreciate openness and accessibility of knowledge as common ground for interaction, any attempt to exploit related outcomes commercially leads to friction. I conceive of these frictions as the “dilemma of entrepreneurship”.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technische UniversitätBerlinGermany

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