Ownership in the virtual world and the implications for long-term user innovation success

Zhou, M, Leenders, M and Cong, L 2018, 'Ownership in the virtual world and the implications for long-term user innovation success', Technovation, vol. 78, pp. 56-65.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Ownership in the virtual world and the implications for long-term user innovation success
Author(s) Zhou, M
Leenders, M
Cong, L
Year 2018
Journal name Technovation
Volume number 78
Start page 56
End page 65
Total pages 10
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract Virtual worlds have become an arena for user-generated innovation enabling a new wave of entrepreneurs to extract real world value from virtual property. Interestingly, virtual world property and revenue generation are understudied and the concept of ownership in the metaverse is distinct and more complex than in the real world. In this article, virtual user innovation and ownership are conceptualized in two layers: (1) the content, and (2) the virtual platform. In-depth case studies of virtual user innovators are used to understand the role of ownership ambiguity in relation to success in a virtual environment. The data consists of transcripts from courts (1279 pages), blogs, interviews and expert commentary regarding six virtual user innovators. The findings reveal that the separation of content and platform ownership and their inherent interdependencies are a source of ownership tensions posing significant challenges to entrepreneurs. Moreover, the virtual world business model favors the platform's ownership rights while undermining other kinds of competing ownership interests. The current structures around ownership rights and control seem detrimental for successful business creation, profitable technology development and long-term user innovation success. The implications for theory and the practical implications for virtual entrepreneurs are discussed.
Subject Innovation and Technology Management
Marketing Management (incl. Strategy and Customer Relations)
Keyword(s) Ownership
Platform
Second life
User innovation
Virtual world
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.technovation.2018.06.002
Copyright notice © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0166-4972
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