Value co-creation through
collective intelligence in the
A review of US and European initiatives
Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Robert A. Paton
University of Glasgow Business School, Glasgow, UK, and
Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
Purpose – On the basis of the Collective Intelligence Genome framework, which was developed to
describe private, for proﬁt ventures, this study aims to review the recent public sector initiatives
launched by the American federal government and the European Union. The study’s goal is to
examine if, and how, the Genome construct would apply to not for proﬁt.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper builds on an existing classiﬁcation methodology for
collective intelligence initiatives and extends it to pubic sector initiatives.
Findings – The ﬁndings suggest that, although the framework offers a generally good ﬁt, it does not
fully address all the factors at play and the paper proposes expanding the gene pool. In addition, it
conﬁrms that Collective Intelligence initiatives do indeed co-create value and conform to the emerging
services dominant logic concept.
Originality/value – With the growing success of proﬁt motivated internet-based collaborative
ventures, including Innocentive, VenCorps, Threadless and many others, governments have taken
notice and engaged. Recent public sector initiatives, including Open.gov, Peer 2 Patent,
innovation.ED.gov among others, have begun to leverage collaborative internet media through
similar means. These initiatives not only engage a broader community in the co-creation of value, but
also foster what has been termed as Collective Intelligence. This paper details one of the ﬁrst forays
into what might be termed sense making within the public sector usage of Collective Intelligence using
the Genome framework and, as such, provides researchers and practitioners with a means of assessing
value, potential impact and making comparisons.
Keywords Collaborative technologies, Public policy, Innovation, Communities,
Government-university-industry, Collaboration, Computer networks, Knowledge transfer
Paper type Research paper
As we move into the second decade of the twenty-ﬁrst century internet technology
remains in the ascendency as it continues to offer innovative value propositions. Firms
in the private sector are leveraging their online presence to source innovation and
reinvent their businesses (Chesbrough and Teece, 2002; Van Baalen et al., 2005).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
This research paper has beneﬁted from the advice and support of Milan Miric.
VINE: The journal of information and
knowledge management systems
Vol. 42 No. 2, 2012
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited