Value Creation & Cooperative Resource Exchange in the Eclipse Community

Patrick Wagstrom (Carnegie Mellon University), Sonali K. Shah (University of Washington)

Business · Long Talk
Presentation
Wednesday, 10:10, 50 minutes | Room 206 | Download in iCal Format

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Patrick Wagstrom

The Eclipse Community is filled with diverse firms -- small market players, cutthroat competitors, and dedicated partners, to name just a few. Together the firms, their employees, and a collection of volunteers create an industry defining product with a dynamic value chain that forces a redefinition of the traditional concepts of cooperation and competition. Eclipse is at the forefront of these new "ecologies", which are becoming increasingly prevalent as both a response to and a contributor to software commoditization. Through dozens of interviews with executives, managers, developers, and volunteers we investigate two primary research questions in this setting: first, how is cooperative development managed? We show which functions generally need to be centralized, and which can be distributed and less actively managed. We also outline the rules, policies, and norms which are used to govern the behaviors of member firms. Second, how do firms create value based on open technology platforms and what business strategies do they employ? We provide an overview of the various strategies employed, how the strategies correspond to the firm’s resource base, and what new kinds of business decisions these strategies require.

Patrick has been involved in Open Source software communities for more than 10 years as a developer, user, advocate, and researcher. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University where he studies the complex relationships between volunteers, commercial firms, and foundations in Open Source Software development. Most recently he has looked at the Eclipse ecosystem to better understand how firms interact and the differing methods to generate value from the work of the community.

Sonali K. Shah is an assistant professor at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her research examines the creation and maintenance of innovation communities in fields ranging from open source software to sports equipment to medical imaging devices. She has extensively studied the inner-workings of innovation communities, that is the motives, coordination structures, and strategies that support community-based innovation and product development. She has worked with technology clients at Morgan Stanley & Co. (Technology Investment Banking Group, New York) and at McKinsey & Co. (San Francisco). She holds B.S.E degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Finance from the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School. She received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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