Motivating Participation in Collaborative Spaces


Collaborative spaces such as Fab Labs, Living Labs, coworking spaces, hackerspaces, makerspaces, etc. are localized spaces that offer open access to resources. The purpose of the article is to explain what motivates participants in such spaces, according to different innovation logics.

The research is based on qualitative studies of 43 collaborative spaces in Paris and Barcelona.

This article proposes a typology of different collaborative spaces in order to understand what motivates their participants. The classification is based on the innovation approach of each type of space: methods and techniques of ideation, social innovation, open innovation, and user-driven innovation.

Research Limitations
The classification of collaborative spaces clearly identifies different innovation approaches. However, it might result too simplistic and may not represent all spaces under the same denomination.

Practical implications
This article provides some guidelines for managers that run or intend to open a collaborative space. In bottom-up innovation modes, to increase the commitment of the participants, managers should provide the tools and resources needed to successfully achieve the goals of the members’ projects. In top-down innovation modes, managers should rather focus on designing an attractive and rewarding process of ideation.

Originality / Value
This article contributes to the understanding of collaborative spaces, it shows that the participants’ engagement is related to the nature of the innovation activities that take place in collaborative spaces, and it compares different types of spaces in order to explain their differences and similarities.

Publication type: 
Scientific Article
Date de parution: 
Journal of Business Strategy