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

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

19 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1969-1987
Journal / PublicationIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number9
Online published21 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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.

Research Area(s)

  • Blockchain innovation, Functional leadership theory, Online leadership, Open collaborative innovation, Open source, Openness orientation