Bauer, Julia, Franke, Nikolaus, Türtscher, Philipp. 2016. Intellectual Property Norms in Online Communities: How User-Organized Intellectual Property Regulation Supports Innovation. Information Systems Research 27 (4), 724-750.


BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Bauer2016,
title = {Intellectual Property Norms in Online Communities: How User-Organized Intellectual Property Regulation Supports Innovation},
author = {Julia Bauer and Nikolaus Franke and Philipp Türtscher},
year = {2016},
doi = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.2016.0649},
volume = {27},
number = {4},
language = {EN},
pages = {724-750},
journal = {Information Systems Research},
abstract = {Abstract: In many online communities, users reveal innovative and potentially valuable intellectual property (IP) under conditions that entail the risk of theft and imitation. Where there is rivalry and formal IP law is not effective, this would lead to underinvestment or withholding of IP – unless user-organized norms compensate for these shortcomings. This study is the first to explore the characteristics and functioning of such a norms-based IP system in the setting of anonymous, large-scale, and loose-knit online communities. In order to do so, we use data on the Threadless crowdsourcing community obtained through netnography, a survey, and a field experiment. On this basis, we identify an integrated system of well-established norms that regulate the use of IP within this community. We analyze the system’s characteristics and functioning, and we find that the “legal certainty” it provides is conducive to cooperation, cumulative effects, and innovation. We generalize our findings from the case by developing propositions aimed to spark further research. These propositions focus on similarities and differences between norms-based IP systems in online and offline settings, and the conditions that determine the existence of norms-based IP systems as well as their form and effectiveness in online communities. In this way, we contribute to the literatures on norms-based IP systems and online communities and offer advice for the management of crowdsourcing communities.},
}

Abstract

Abstract: In many online communities, users reveal innovative and potentially valuable intellectual property (IP) under conditions that entail the risk of theft and imitation. Where there is rivalry and formal IP law is not effective, this would lead to underinvestment or withholding of IP – unless user-organized norms compensate for these shortcomings. This study is the first to explore the characteristics and functioning of such a norms-based IP system in the setting of anonymous, large-scale, and loose-knit online communities. In order to do so, we use data on the Threadless crowdsourcing community obtained through netnography, a survey, and a field experiment. On this basis, we identify an integrated system of well-established norms that regulate the use of IP within this community. We analyze the system’s characteristics and functioning, and we find that the “legal certainty” it provides is conducive to cooperation, cumulative effects, and innovation. We generalize our findings from the case by developing propositions aimed to spark further research. These propositions focus on similarities and differences between norms-based IP systems in online and offline settings, and the conditions that determine the existence of norms-based IP systems as well as their form and effectiveness in online communities. In this way, we contribute to the literatures on norms-based IP systems and online communities and offer advice for the management of crowdsourcing communities.

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Information Systems Research
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A+
Starjournal Y
Language English
Title Intellectual Property Norms in Online Communities: How User-Organized Intellectual Property Regulation Supports Innovation
Volume 27
Number 4
Year 2016
Page from 724
Page to 750
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.2016.0649

Associations

People
Bauer, Julia (Former researcher)
Franke, Nikolaus (Details)
Türtscher, Philipp (Former researcher)
Organization
Entrepreneurship and Innovation IN (Details)
Familienunternehmen FI (Details)
WU Gründungszentrum WE (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5320 Marketing (Details)
5350 Innovation research (Details)
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