The Governance and Design of Collaborative User-driven Innovation Platforms

Bill Dutton is involved in a five-year collaboration with colleages at the Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), supported by the Danish research council, that builds on his research into ‘collaborative network organisations (CNOs), such as Wikipedia. As a major phenomenon of our Internet-based society, users of products and technologies increasingly gather in virtual distributed problem-solving networks, in which new products and services are collaboratively developed. While individual aspects like motivation to participate and resulting industry dynamics have been studied, a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms governing these communities and their innovative outcome is being pursued by this project.

Hence, this research Alliance aims at developing an understanding of (1) the different elements of the ‘governance structures’, (2) how these elements are combined to form different types of collaborative user-driven innovation platforms, and (3) how different combinations of governance elements impact specific innovation-related outcomes. As an additional research question, we are interested in assessing how such governance mechanisms may be used to organize specific tasks in established organizations. From a methodological perspective, this research applies both qualitative and quantitative research methods and combines them in a novel way.

Selected publications behind this proposal, and supported by this research have included Bill’s work on collaborative networks in politics, and the Fifth Estate:

Dutton, W. H., Schneider, V., and Vedel, T. (2012), ‘Large Technical Systems as Ecologies of Games: Cases from Telecommunications to the Internet’, pp. 49-75 in Bauer, J. M., et al (Eds), Innovation Policy and Governance in High-Tech Industries. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Dutton, W. H. (2013), ‘The Internet and Democratic Accountability: The Rise of the Fifth Estate’, pp. 39-55 in Lee, F.L.F., Leung, L., Qui, J. L., and Chu, D.S.C. (eds), Frontiers in New Media Research. Abbingdon: Informa, Taylor and Francis/Routledge.

Huan, S., Dutton, W. H., and Shen, W. (2013), ‘The Semi-Sovereign Netizen: The Fifth Estate in China’, pp. 43-58 in Nixon, P.G., Rawal, R. and Mercea, D. (2013) Politics and the Internet in Comparative Context: Views From the Cloud, London: Routledge.

Dutton, W. H. (2014), ‘Lend Me Your Expertise: Citizen Sourcing Advice to Government’, pp. forthcoming in Desouza, K., and Johnston, E. W. (eds), Policy Informatics Handbook. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Dutton, W. H. (2013), ‘The Fifth Estate: The Internet’s Gift to Democratic Governance’, InterMEDIA, Volume 41, October, pp. 20-24.

Dutton, W. H. with the assistance of Elizabeth Dubois (2014) (ed.), Politics and the Internet: Volumes I-IV. Abingdon, UK: Taylor & Francis Routledge.

Zorina, A., and Dutton, W. H. (2014), ‘Building Broadband Infrastructure from the Grassroots: the Case of Home LANs in Belarus’, Journal of Community Informatics, special issue on ‘The First Mile of Broadband Connectivity in Communities’, Vol 10, No. 2:

Dutton, W. H. (2015), ‘The Internet’s Gift to Democratic Governance: The Fifth Estate’, pp. 164-73 in, Coleman, S., Moss, G., and Parry, K. (eds), Can the Media Save Democracy? Essays in Honour of Jay G. Blumler. London, Abington: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dutton, W. H. (2015), ‘Lend Me Your Expertise: Citizen Sourcing Advice to Government’, pp. 247-63 in Johnston, E. W. (eds), Governance in the Information Era: Theory and Practice of Policy Informatics. Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis Routledge.

Dutton, W. H., and Dubois, E. (2015 forthcoming), ‘The Fifth Estate: A Rising Force of Pluralistic Accountability’, pp. forthcoming in Coleman, S., and Feelon, D. (eds), The Handbook of Digital Politics.

Niskala, N., and Dutton, W. H. (submitted for journal publication), ‘Communicative Power through Social Media: The Potential for a Finnish Fifth Estate on Facebook’

Contact: Bill Dutton