Open innovation

Sharing results midway or at the end

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Science  14 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6211, pp. 823-824
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6211.823-e

Technological innovation depends on striking a balance between sharing discoveries to spur follow-on development and ensuring that too much sharing does not undercut incentives to participate. Boudreau and Lakhani randomized an online bioinformatics algorithm contest in order to examine the consequences of intermediate and final disclosure. Finaldisclosure (FD) solvers had no in-group communication, whereas intermediate-disclosure (ID) solvers could share intermediate solutions. Fewer people opted to participate in ID, they submitted fewer solutions per person, and they tried fewer unique approaches. However, ID approaches clustered together conceptually and smoothly improved more quickly over time, whereas FD had much more variable quality and didn't achieve the mean or peak performance levels shown in ID.

Res. Policy 10.1016/j.respol.2014.08.001 (2014).

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