A. Introduction

When thinking about innovation, it's possible that a quotation attributed to Picasso ...

Bad artists copy. Great artists steal.This idea appears to be often misquoted as "Good artists copy". The meaning of the quotation is explored Lala C Ballatan, "On Copying and Stealing Designs" at http://ezinearticles.com/?On-Copying-and-Stealing-Designs&id=22989

... is actually an adaptation of writing by T. S. Eliot in 1920:

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal;
bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn ....T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood: Essays on Poetry and Criticism, Methune 1920, republished by Bartleby.com (1996) at http://www.bartleby.com/200/sw11.html. A more comtemporary and briefer quip is "Immature artists imitate. Mature artists steal." credited to Lionel Trilling, Esquire, Sep 1962 by Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations, compiled by James B. Simpson, 1988, republished in March 2000 by Bartleby.com at http://www.bartleby.com/63/75/7075.html.

This dissertation examines innovation as the transfer of situated practices across social subworlds.

The title of this work encapsulates the trajectory of research for this dissertation. It is founded on the following a priori constructs:

  • Communities, companies and business ecosystems are interrelated subworld systems, each with a distinct style of situated practices regarded as natural.
  • Innovation in a subworld manifests as the disclosing of a new style of situated practice.
  • Style changes emergent to (i.e. not generated within) a subworld involve enterpreneurs who cross-appropriate practices natural in other contexts.
  • History-making activities disclose the new style into a subworld where people, places and/or things are encountered with different meaning.
  • Through a process of legitimation, features of the new style are coordinated with customary practices, integrating into reordered predispositions.

These constructs are more fully developed in Part C.

The method employed in this dissertation is inductive case study, as described in Part B.

The cases selected follow the evolution of organizational and business aspects of software technologies. These technologies are complicated by overlapping intellectual property domains of "free software"The Free Software Foundation provides the following definition:

Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. More precisely, it refers to four kinds of freedom, for the users of the software:

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

A program is free software if users have all of these freedoms.

... at http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/free-sw.html., "open source"A list of type of open sources licenses is available from the Open Source Initiative at http://www.opensource.org/licenses/index.php. and commercial contexts. The cases include:

  • development tools: Java Integrated Development Environment (Object Technologies International / IBM) → Eclipse application frameworks (Eclipse Consortium) → Eclipse open development platform (Eclipse Foundation)
  • instant broadcast messaging: IBM Community Tools (IBM internal Webahead virtual team) → Sametime 7.5 (IBM product)
  • wikis: JSPWiki (Lesser GPL) → Instawiki (IBM internal) → w3 Wiki Central (IBM internal on Atlassian Confluence) → Lotus Quickr (QWiki template by SNAPPS)
  • blogs: Roller (Apache license) → IBM DeveloperWorks (IBM corporate) → w3 Blog Central (IBM internal) → Lotus Connections (IBM product)
  • digital media repositories: Webahead Podcasting Pilot (IBM internal "virtual team") → w3 Media Library (IBM internal Technology Adoption Program)
  • situational_applications: Enterprise Mash-up Maker (IBM Software Group Emerging Technologies) → QEDWiki (IBM Alphaworks) → Situational Application Envionment (IBM internal Technology Adoption Program)

These cases are detailed in Part D.

Across-case patterns discovered during research include:

  • TBD

Within-case patterns discovered during research include:

  • TBD

These patterns are described in Part E.

Resulting hypotheses include:

  • TBD

These hypotheses are compared with the literature in Part F.