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The role of online leadership in open collaborative innovation: Evidence from blockchain open source projects

Wen Mu (School of Management, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China) (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Yiyang Bian (School of Information Management, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China)
J. Leon Zhao (Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 8 October 2019

Issue publication date: 6 November 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the roles of online leadership in open collaborative innovation success by extending functional leadership theory in the context of open source projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses negative binomial regression models to empirically test the proposed hypotheses with samples of blockchain open source projects on GitHub.

Findings

The results indicate that task-oriented leadership behaviors in forms of technical contributions have little influence on open collaborative innovation success; relation-oriented leadership behaviors embedded in internal social capital and external social capital contribute to open collaborative innovation success prominently. Furthermore, the joint effects of technical contributions, internal social capital and community commitment with openness orientation are positively significant on open collaborative innovation success, respectively.

Practical implications

For leaders and participants of open collaborative innovation projects, they should attach importance to both leadership behaviors and the joint effects with openness orientation so as to make informed decisions.

Originality/value

This study offers a new fine-grained framework of open collaborative innovation success by investigating specific dimensions of task-oriented and relation-orientated leadership behaviors, as well as their joint effects with openness orientation.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by Shenzhen Special Fund for the Development of Strategic Emerging Industries (No. JCY20170818100156260) and CBEI Center, City University of Hong Kong Chengdu Research Institute (Project No. R-CBEI-006).

Citation

Mu, W., Bian, Y. and Zhao, J.L. (2019), "The role of online leadership in open collaborative innovation: Evidence from blockchain open source projects", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 119 No. 9, pp. 1969-1987. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-03-2019-0136

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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