Use of Knowledge Commons in Open Innovation Systems: The Case of Free and Open Source Software




Novak, Justin

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The idea that innovation is essential to economic growth has become more widely accepted in policy circles in recent years and is being increasingly adopted in practice by policymakers. The literature surrounding innovation is becoming clearer about its effects on the creation of new ideas and products. However, many unknowns remain regarding the causes of innovation, including the extent to which openness aids innovation and how knowledge should be treated within innovation systems. This study examines innovation inputs in the software industry, where the dominant open innovation scheme is Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Using a mixed methods case study, it explores how knowledge commons allow external knowledge to be introduced into an open innovation system, which in turn provides access to resources that would not be otherwise available. The results demonstrate the important roles of governance, community, and collaboration and have broader implications for innovation systems.



Public policy, Cybersecurity, FOSS, Innovation, Knowledge Commons, Open Source, Software