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Open source development: a hybrid in innovation and management theory

John P. Ulhøi (Department of Organization & Management, The Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus, Denmark)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



This paper addresses innovations based on open source or non‐proprietary knowledge. Viewed through the lens of private property theory, such agency appears to be a true anomaly. However, by a further turn of the theoretical kaleidoscope, we will show that there may be perfectly justifiable reasons for not regarding open source innovations as anomalies. The paper is based on three sectorial and generic cases of open source innovation, which is an offspring of contemporary theory made possible by combining elements of the model of private agency with those of the model of collective agency. In closing, the paper addresses implications for further research, practitioners and other policy‐makers.



Ulhøi, J.P. (2004), "Open source development: a hybrid in innovation and management theory", Management Decision, Vol. 42 No. 9, pp. 1095-1114.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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