Karim R. Lakhani

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Karim R. Lakhani (born c. 1970) is a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. He is the Principal Investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science.[1] His research and teaching focuses on open and user innovation.

Life and work[edit]

Lakhani earned his B.Eng.Mgt. in 1993 (McMaster University, Canada), his MS in 1999 and in 2006 his PhD in the MIT Sloan School of Management and was advised by Eric von Hippel, Tom Allen, and Wanda Orlikowski.

Lakhani is one of the foremost academic experts on and author of several of the most highly cited articles on free and open source software and the co-founder of open source research community hosted at MIT. He edited the book Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software (ISBN 0-262-06246-1) published by MIT Press.[2]

In addition to Open Source, Lakhani's is cited as leading academic expert on the topic of crowdsourcing.[3] In particular, he is known for his research on the T-shirt company Threadless,[4][5] and prize-based open innovation firms like InnoCentive[6][7][8] & TopCoder. Currently he is the principal investigator for the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Lakhani, Karim R., and Eric Von Hippel. "How open source software works:“free” user-to-user assistance." Research policy 32.6 (2003): 923-943.
  • Von Krogh, Georg, Sebastian Spaeth, and Karim R. Lakhani. "Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study." Research Policy 32.7 (2003): 1217-1241.
  • Lakhani, Karim R., and Robert G. Wolf. "Perspectives on free and open source software." (2005): 3-23.


  1. ^ "MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: Karim Lakhani". MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-30. 
  2. ^ Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A. Hissam, Karim R. Lakhani, eds. (2005). Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software. MIT Press. ISBN 9780262062466. 
  3. ^ Unrau, J. Jack (2007-07-10). "The Experts at the Periphery". Wired Magazine. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  4. ^ Chafkin, Max (2008-06-01). "The Customer is the Company: How Threadless Uses Crowdsourcing". Inc. Magazine. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  5. ^ Sipress, Alan (2007-06-18). "T-Shirt Maker's Style, Drawn From Web Users". The Washington Post. ISSN 0740-5421. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  6. ^ Dean, Cornelia (2008-07-22). "If You Have a Problem, Ask Everyone". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 
  7. ^ Travis, John (2008-03-28). "Science by the Masses". Science. 319 (5871): 1750–1752. PMID 18369115. doi:10.1126/science.319.5871.1750. 
  8. ^ Wessel, David (2007-01-25). "Prizes for Solutions to Problems Play Valuable Role in Innovation". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-04-24. 

External links[edit]