The term “Open Collaboration” is not just a trend to follow to keep in touch with progress and development; it is the nearest reality You and I are going to live in. It can be described as a new approach to business and finance, sharing of information and generation of products having an additional value. The current researches and examples of practical implementation support the idea that it might be a very valuable instrument to replace traditional formations and unions in different aspects of life.
The best and well-known examples of the technology or, let us better say, approach, are, of course, Wikipedia, TEDx and Bitcoin. These activities have proven success of the new method and are described as future by the journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS). The basic activity of the organization is analytics, as it has no equivalent or competitor the amount of members has hit 10000 people, among them several Nobel Prize laureates.
The task to check and to reaffirm the idea was set by two authors Sheen S. Levine of Columbia University and Michael J. Prietula of Emory University. On the 30th of December they have succeeded in publishing of the article “Open Collaboration: Principles and Performance,” setting the basics of a whole science and future activities in the field of the topic. Anna Yström also made a determining contribution to the branch. In September of 2013 she defended her master thesis “Managerial Practices for Open Innovation Collaboration: Authoring the Spaces ‘in-between’”. It does not only describe the relationships and communication in the Open Collaborations, but also presents the limits in form of balance between stability, structure, chaos and uncertainty.
The present study of Levine and Prietula believe that Open Collaborations create a totally new type of organizations – at the same time both non-profit and not quite corporations. They have even gone further than Anna Yström as they have determined the principles of work inside the formation and the basics of their conclusions are economics and psychology. The main advantage of this new time of relations is strength. It can withstand harsh environments and keeps its functionality for groups of minorities with no diversification of characteristics inside. They also suggest that the pioneers of the new movement might be progressive executors, leaders, top-managers.
In case, You, our dear reader, would like to search for the explanation of the term, it is still too early to open up a paper or online dictionary. The authors of the research have formulated their own definition: “any system of innovation or production that relies on goal-oriented yet loosely coordinated participants who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they make available to contributors and non-contributors alike.”
The examples have proven the viability of the concept. The open source codes and software exist relatively long and they have led to the current achievements of the collective mind – forums, Wikipedia as an analogue to Britannica, communities and virtual currencies. The Bitcoin as well as other cryptographic currencies are definitely a successful example even for the skeptics. It is not to argue that all mentioned examples have changed the physical, traditional businesses and companies. Their impact was an additional power putting under pressure well-known products and services. However, till the current time all of them could also be described as an opposition to traditional instruments. The offered results of researchers might change the image of Open Collaborations and provide strong impact on economy in the closest future.