Designing for Innovation or Adaptation: The Symmetry, Syntopy and Synchrony of Boundary Spanning Partnerships


  • Sean Gadman


Knowledge Management Open Source Communities Communities of Common Interest, Communities of Practice, Collaboration Organisational Behaviour Organisational Design


The Internet is enabling a new economy based on the networking of human knowledge. While the benefits of using I.T. to connect people to people and people to information within a business are commonly understood, much less is known about the advantages of well‑managed partnerships across corporate boundaries. Building on the findings of a recent study of knowledge creating collaborations (Gadman and Cooper 2003), and the growing interest in Open Source Software development communities, (Von Hipple and Von Krogh 2003), (Cole and Lee 2003), this paper addresses the importance of selecting the most appropriate collaborative strategy to meet business needs and the challenges of managing relationships which often span organizational cultures and boundaries. The findings are relevant to any company that depends on the free flow of ideas among smart people and provides a lens through which we can learn and discover new and creative possibilities for the future.



1 Dec 2003