Open Entrepreneurship_Teigland, Di Gangi, Yetis


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Our presentation at the Innovation and Market Creation in and around Virtual Worlds in May 2012 at Copenhagen Business School. More information here:

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  • Adapted from:, entrepreneurship research has pointed to the importance of social capital, or the ability to access and/or mobilize resources through relationship networks (Lin, 2001), for entrepreneurial success (e.g., Stam & Elfring, 2008). Researchers have suggested that social capital benefits cooperative behavior and thus the development of new forms for innovative value creation by increasing the efficiency of action and building trust to facilitate collaboration and minimize coordination costs (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998, Putnam, 1993). As a result, social capital influences the conditions for resource sharing and facilitates the development of intellectual capital, or the “knowledge and knowing capability of a social collectivity, such as an organization, intellectual community, or professional practice” (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998:245).
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  • Within a social network, the position of an individual or group of individuals (structural), shared language used to share information (cognitive), and shared identity with likeminded individuals (relational) creates an opportunity for individuals and/or groups to accrue advantages that can be used for both personal and collective benefits.
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  • SNS – social networking sites, eglinkedin, twitter,
  • Entrepreneurs, on average, possessed the highest number of direct ties (degree), were the best positioned to quickly obtain information as it traversed the network (closeness), required the least number of connections to receive information from the opposite side of the network (betweenness), and were the most strategically positioned near important individuals (eigenvector) in both periods. In both periods, Entrepreneurs acted as key bridges across structural holes. Taken collectively, the results strongly suggest that entrepreneurs play a significant role in building structural capital within the OpenSimulator community at the individual and potentially group level.
  • The size of the nodes is based on the group heterogeneity scores calculated through aggregating individual member heterogeneity scores. As seen in the graphs below, Entrepreneurs as a collective are centrally located within the community and thus play a vital role in managing communications and facilitating information flow within the developer mailing list, suggesting a strong level of structural capital at the group level as well.
  • Cognitive capital supports the production of intellectual assets that can be shared and used by the community. Within open source software communities, a key intellectual asset is code contribution to the repository. Table 3 below highlights the distribution of contributions made by each group within the community. As can be seen, Entrepreneurs contribute a significant proportion of code to the OpenSimulator repository. When comparing them to the demographics in Tables 1a and 1b, Entrepreneurs contribute more than an equitable amount of code to the repository.
  • We created a word burst analysis of the content of the messages posted during the two time periods (Tables 4a and 4b) that identified the words that were most overrepresented in the messages posted by the respective groups compared to the sum of all messages by all groups during each time period. This analysis gives an indication of the type of issues each group is discussing and can be seen as an indication of how it is contributing to the development of the community’s cognitive capital. Entrepreneurs play the crucial role of maintaining the focus of OpenSimulator on real world applications and ensuring the development activities of the community stay relevant to current needs and interests of both businesses and users.During the second period, we found that Entrepreneurs remain relatively stable with a more pronounced tendency towards the monetization of the OpenSimulator virtual world (e.g., opencurrency, currency) and application development (e.g., modules, fields, revision). Combined with the structural capital findings, Entrepreneurs appear to capitalize on the information flowing through the community (in particular through their network positions) to share ideas on how to apply the OpenSimulator project to real world applications and more specifically business opportunities. Furthermore, Entrepreneurs are able to leverage these positions to support revisions and future modules needed to realize current trends within the virtual world industry. In order to achieve this, Entrepreneurs communicate using a shared language or set of terms to describe key areas of the OpenSimulator project (e.g., opencurrency) and contribute code to support the continued success of the community (via Ohloh). Thus, Entrepreneurs possess significant cognitive capital that facilitates their ability to contribute to the community and obtain a personal benefit via the development of business opportunities and experience within the OpenSimulator environment. 
  • Using the heterogeneity score from our network analysis (see Tables 2a and 2b), we were able to determine that all groups were relatively homogenous in their interactions in OpenSimulator. However, Entrepreneurs possessed slightly more heterogeneity in their ties than other groups with the exception of the periphery, that is a loosely associated group of individuals on the outskirts of the network structure. Entrepreneurs were significantly more effective at maintaining diverse relationships than other groups (F = 27.721; p < 0.001) while also maintaining strong ties to other Entrepreneurs (i.e., identifying and communicating with similar members within the community). Figure 3 visually demonstrates these differences using the size of the node as an indicator of heterogeneity at the group level.
  • influential role, symbiotic relationshipdiverse sets of tiesbridges between disparate network groupscentrally located within the network across both time periodssocial glue keeping the network togetherfacilitates the exchange and combination of resources necessary for the continuous creation of intellectual capital > sustainabilityof communityRQ2Community arena for the individual entrepreneur to build his or her social capitalEmbeddedness in a diverse network of tiesLearning about potential opportunities and co-creation of the ability to realize these opportunities through resource mobilization. Dialectical view of entrepreneurs (Van de ven et al., 2007) as individuals who pursue both self and collective interests. Entrepreneursare the social gluekeeping the networktogether:Individuallevel: Clear presenceofentrepreneurs as a primaryinfluencerwithin the networkStructuralcapitalpositioning as bothcore and bridges in the network.while the entirecommunitypossesses a distincthomogeneoustendency (i.e., lowheterogeneity props), entrepreneurspossess the mostheterogeneoustiesas well as continuetoworkwitheachotherCognitive and Relationalcapitalalsohighlights the appliedpurposebehindentrepreneursGroup level; (?) dynamicbetweenhobbyists and entrepreneursCollectiveentrepreneurship
  • Key Discussion PointsClear presence of entrepreneurs as a primary influencer within the networkStructural capital positioning as both core and bridges in the network.Interesting finding that while the entire community possesses a distinct homogeneous tendency (i.e., low heterogeneity props), entrepreneurs possess the most heterogeneous ties as well as continue to work with each other (the majority of the time). This combined with the cognitive capital component shows that entrepeneurs possibly maintain diverse ties for idea generation, but potentially collaborate with other entrepreneurs in order to complete work (this could also be the opposite though). Future research is needed to determine the work activities.The findings for the Cognitive and Relational capital also highlights the applied purpose behind entrepreneurs. Perhaps this is the where we discuss the exploratory (period one) and exploitive (period two) roles of entrepreneurs? Strictly from a management perspective, the value of keeping up to date on current trends/needs means the community and the software stays relevant and attractive to potential businesses (perhaps explaining why large firms do not completely disappear in period two and only move to the periphery because OpenSimulator is still seen as important to keep an eye on).Putting everything together: entrepreneurs are the social glue keeping the network together. Central hub for information flowing through the network (early alerts to new information), connected to diverse ties meaning they are best able to identify strengths and weaknesses in software, perhaps also leading to why they are the largest contributors of code (cognitive capital). Does this mean that there are causal relationships hidden within these findings? Perhaps relational capital and structural capital impact cognitive capital? Group level findings?Interesting dynamic between hobbyists and entrepreneurs being central. One would think these are competing interests and yet they seem to work well with each other. It’s almost like the hobbyists are the users providing market research (beta testers with technical know how) and the entrepreneurs are the organizations fulfilling their needs. Is this why they work well together? How is it that entrepreneurs could end up playing such a central role in an open source community? Does man on the inside (Dahlander and Wallin article) also apply to entrepreneurs?Entrepreneurs and the community have a symbiotic relationship that facilitates the production of social capital at both the community level as well as at the entrepreneur levelEntrepreneurs connect themselves to diverse sets of ties, position themselves as bridges between disparate network groups, and are centrally located within the network across both time periods, making them an integral part of the success of the community
  • Sharing their way to success through leveraging their social capital to identify and realize opportunities
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  • Open Entrepreneurship_Teigland, Di Gangi, Yetis

    1. 1. You Scratch My Back, We’ll Scratch Yours -------- Exploring Open Entrepreneurship in a Private-collective Community Robin Teigland Paul M. Di Gangi Stockholm School of Economics Loyola University Maryland Zeynep Yetis Christina Huitfeldt Stockholm School of Economics Stockholm School of Economics Copenhagen Business School, May 2012 Innovation and Market Creation in and around Virtual Worlds#opensim #virtualworlds #innovation #entrepreneurship
    2. 2. OverviewIntroduction MotivationTheory & Research Questions Social CapitalResearch Methodology & Results OpenSimulatorConclusions Contributions Thank You!
    3. 3. Open Source Communities Linux MySQL Apache Private-collective community: A network comprising individuals, organizations, andinterested parties contributing resources to accomplish a personal and shared goal
    4. 4. “Open source” communities expanding beyond software
    5. 5. Models of Knowledge Creation E.g., Entrepreneurs ~ Driven by personal vision and knowledge to realize an idea for a new venturePrivate vs Collective E.g., Open Source Software ~ Built by users and distributed freely regardless of affiliation
    6. 6. But an Inherent TensionProfit-based rational behavior ofentrepreneur would lead toentrepreneurs free-riding on efforts ofothersPrivate vs Collective Contributes valuable time, effort, and knowledge contributing to community and making it freely available.
    7. 7. Our Primary Research Purpose Do entrepreneurs participate in open source communities and if so, what benefits do the entrepreneurs provide the community and vice versa?
    8. 8. OverviewIntroduction MotivationTheory & Research Questions Social CapitalResearch Methodology & Results OpenSimulatorConclusions Contributions Thank You!
    9. 9. Social Capital Lin, 2001The resources embedded in a social structure that are accessed and/or mobilized in purposive action
    10. 10. Research QuestionsEntrepreneurialsuccess Organizational success RQ1. How do entrepreneurs contribute to the social capital of an OSS community? RQ2. How does an OSS community contribute to an entrepreneur’s social capital?
    11. 11. Social Capital Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998 Wasko & Faraj, 2005 Structural Cognitive Relational Capital Capital CapitalIndividual’s position Ability for individuals Ability of individual towithin a network that to develop a shared identify with subset ofprovides access to language or foster overarching network resources through common collaboration attribute through boundary spanning objects
    12. 12. OverviewIntroduction MotivationTheory & Research Questions Social CapitalResearch Methodology & Results OpenSimulatorConclusions Contributions Thank You!
    13. 13. OpenSimulator Project An open source community comprising different individuals and organizations developing a multi-platform, multi-user 3D application enabling creation of customized virtual worlds.
    14. 14. Data Collection 1) Developer Mailing List 2) Ohloh Commit List 3) OpenSimulator Wiki 4) SNS, blogs, homepages, etc. 5) 21 InterviewsConducting an interview
    15. 15. Methodology Mixed methods, explorative case study Qualitative & Quantitative Two Periods: 1) 2007-2009 2) 2009-2011 Structural Capital Cognitive Capital Relational Capital Individual’s position Ability for individuals to Ability of individual toDefinition within network develop shared identify with subset of providing him or her language or foster overarching network with access to collaboration through through a common resources boundary spanning attribute objectsMethod Network Analysis Textual Analysis (Word Heterogeneity of Ties (Centrality & Structural Burst Lists); Code Analysis (Identification Hole Measures); Analysis (Contributions to with Groups) Means Testing Code Repository) (significance) Interviews used to validate findings
    16. 16. Structural Capital Entrepreneurs playsignificant role through their highly central positions that bridgeacross structural holes Network Structure of OpenSimulator Developer Mailing List
    17. 17. Structural CapitalPeriod One Period Two Collapsed Node Structure of OpenSimulator Developer Mailing List
    18. 18. Cognitive Capital August 2007 - September 2009 October 2009 – October 2011 Stakeholder Active Core Ohloh Top 20 Active Core Ohloh Top 20 Affiliation Developers Committers Developers Committers # Inds % Total # Inds % Total # Inds % Total # Inds % Total 1-Academic 2 10% 2 10% 1 8% 1 5%2-Entrepreneur 8 40% 11 55% 7 58% 9 45% 3–Hobbyist 4 20% 2 10% 2 17% 6 30% 4-Large Firm 3 15% 3 15% 2 17% 4 20% 5–Non-profit 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 6-Local Public 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%7–Federal Public 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0%8-Research Inst 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 0 0% 9-SME 3 15% 2 10% 0 0% 0 0% Total 20 100% 20 100% 12 100% 20 100% Entrepreneurs are the primary group of contributors to code development.
    19. 19. Cognitive Capital Period One Period Two Academics Entrepreneur Hobbyist Large Firm SME Academics Entrepreneur Hobbyist Large Firm SME inventory state debug availabletype portability hg we bulletsim updates admin user join osg processing openid wifi state wiki sciencesim item really obscures saving file metadata master established pm trust megaregions servers night succeeded worlds asset info join documents testclient prims think pages osgrid users userserver scholar never bots queue viewer server scene shape mathematics inventoryserver robust night part adaptive megarion millions region guest center regionserver timeout pages testclient voice trees region believe functions tree script regionstore scene next dsg add addresses physics guests wrote goods freeswitch region kins pronounced linkedin different prerouting grid next class university believe wise bots scalableinventoryserver core value approach executed version obsolete outfit viewer names modules currency build computer assets line physics documentation simian inventory grid incoming sims rest assetbase connector core authority appearance root agent revision project attachments inform lgpl modules install packet robot service opencurrency allow asset cable migration currency users retransmit sequence Entrepreneurs focus on real world applications and ensure development activities are relevant to diverse members Non-profit, Local Public, Federal Public, Research Inst left out for presentation purposes
    20. 20. Relational Capital Node Size = Heterogeneity Score Period One Period Two Entrepreneurs are significantly more effective at maintainingdiverse relationships than other groups while also maintaining strong ties to other Entrepreneurs
    21. 21. Summary of Findings RQ 1 How do RQ 2 How does an OSSentrepreneurs contribute community contribute to anto the social capital of an entrepreneur’s social capital? OSS community? ---------- ------------- • Structural – provides access to • Structural – position diverse set of resources themselves as core and bridges enabling them to identify and across community realize opportunities • Cognitive – ensure focus of • Cognitive – enables building of community on real world high quality relationships, not applications and relevance just big networks• Relational - create social glue • Relational – enables ability to across community members develop expertise while avoiding with diverse interests and goals learning traps
    22. 22. OverviewIntroduction MotivationTheory & Research Questions Social CapitalResearch Methodology & Results OpenSimulatorConclusions Contributions Thank You!
    23. 23. Contribution•OSS literature –Entrepreneurs facilitate the community’s development of a combinative capability, thus leading to the continuous creation of intellectual capital for the community.•Social capital literature –Extend social capital theory to OSS communities to show a symbiotic relationship between OSS communities and entrepreneurs.•Entrepreneurship literature –Importance of online communities to entrepreneurs as arenas for building social capital. –Dialectical view of entrepreneurs as individuals who pursue both self and collective interests (Van de ven et al., 2007)
    24. 24. “Open Entrepreneurship” Entrepreneurs openly engaging in social capital building activities through free revealing of intellectual property and contribution of other resources with purpose ofpursuing self business-related interests while contributing to pursuit of mutual goals
    25. 25. Questions? Thank you foryour criticismsand comments!
    26. 26. “If you love knowledge, set it free!” Robin TeiglandPhoto: aka Karinda Rhode robin.teigland@hhs.seNordenskiöld Photo: Lindholm, Metro #RobinTeigland #NVWN Photo: #Euroversity Lindqvist