chapter  3
19 Pages

Diversity of Participants in Open Source Projects: Comparing Individual Demographics and Participation Rationales in Software, Content, Fun, and Business Communities


This chapter explores benefits from participation in the innovation process, such as enjoyment and learning as an additional motivator, and provides a formal framework to analyze the current and potential value of contributions to innovation drawn from leisure time. Using data from national representative surveys in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Japan, it documents that a significant portion of household sector innovation is motivated by participation benefits rather than output benefits. It shows through a formal model that purposeful and skilled harnessing of participation motives can greatly amplify the range of viable innovations for users and producers. The chapter explains that those who find adequate reward from participation benefits only, pure 'participators', can be recruited to amplify the total amount of paid and unpaid R&D and innovation carried out by users and producers within the household, business, and government sectors. It talks about important implications for the theory and practice of R&D and innovation.