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Brett M. Frischmann, Michael J. Madison, and Katherine J. Strandburg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199972036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199972036.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Creating a Context for Entrepreneurship:

Creating a Context for Entrepreneurship:

Examining How Users’ Technological and Organizational Innovations Set the Stage for Entrepreneurial Activity

(p.313) 9 Creating a Context for Entrepreneurship
Governing Knowledge Commons

Sonali K. Shah

Cyrus C. M. Mody

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how entrepreneurship can arise from commons. Interactions within a commons generate information, resources, skills, and affective rewards that contribute to entrepreneurial activities, particularly in new technological areas. Specifically, this chapter focuses on technologies not yet marketed by firms or where firms coexist with non-firm producers. For such technologies, user innovation can complement, or even outrun, innovation by firms. The social structure of the user community is coproduced with the technology; some user community structures (e.g., the “network exchange” structure) feature noncommercial production of the technology for fellow users. Such social structures can therefore prepare the way for entrepreneurship. Using empirical material from two case studies conducted by the authors (with additional evidence from the history of technology and innovation studies literatures), the chapter shows that for some individuals, participating in user communities can raise or lower the barriers to firm formation or even industry formation.

Keywords:   User innovation, entrepreneurship, network exchange, industry formation, coproduction, commons

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