Knowledge dynamics at the firm-user community boundary: a community of practice view

Academy of Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Academy of Management 2016 Annual Meeting, 2016
Issue Date:
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In this paper, we address the need for newer approaches to engage with the interactive nature of knowledge exchange that occurs when firms engage in open innovation with user communities. Drawing on the Community of Practice perspective, we develop a relational framework that forms the basis for examining the social dynamics underpinning knowledge collaboration between the firm and the community. This framework integrates the perspective of community (and its users) with the host firm to enable a comprehensive investigation of social tensions associated with the dynamics at the firm- community boundary, and how these tensions can be managed generatively to enable seamless co-creation of knowledge and innovation. We discuss how researchers can use the framework for future studies that seek to better understand the complex, relational dynamics of firm-community knowledge collaboration. These insights are valuable for firms to support knowledge collaboration by focusing on effective boundary management practices for negotiating tensions that emanate at the firm-community boundary.
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