KWI – Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (Kulturwissenschaftliches Intitut Essen, KWI)

Project Collaborative Economics

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Ludger Heidbrink
Collaborator: Patrick Linnebach

Collaboration is playing an increasingly important role in the economy. Wikinomics and Creative Commons, Open Source and Web 2.0, mass customization and crowdsourcing, crafting and prosumers are all phenomena that have come into being comparatively recently. This project will address the question of which changes in the market economy these phenomena contribute towards. Are the markets becoming forums for collaboration, characterized by condensed interaction? Is the embedding of the economy bringing about distinct behavioral patterns and a common orientation? How are organizations and markets that are governed by trust and social expectations changing? What does the fact that the communication of values and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important mean for the economy?

The project aims to investigate to what extent markets are developing into places where exchange and communication between the market participants is gaining importance; to what extent, in other words, current markets are characterized less by competition or indifference than by cooperation and collaboration – with this also implying conflict. This encompasses the consideration of a broad spectrum of examples, over and above the trends already mentioned, including phenomena such as creative economy, social business, corporate citizenship and sustainable consumerism.