My ideas and theories aim to explain how platforms and 'crowds' are best designed and organised. My underlying motivation, however, is to ask and answer fundamental questions regarding how knowledge advances and innovation occurs, looking at a range of technical, scientific and institutional contexts.
Apart from developing new ideas and theories, I design and carry out large-scale econometric studies and field experiments to produce detailed quantitative analysis to test the ideas. I draw on a range of social sciences, and especially economic theory, to organise how to think about these problems. That said, my natural inclination is to allow the data to speak for itself--as much as it can.
I first studied engineering at the University of Waterloo. My work and studies at the time led me become interested in statistics, numerical methods and analysis, modelling, simulations, data analysis and programming. I also took courses in experimental design and research and was awarded by Bell Northern Research for my experiments in heat transfer and cooling of electronic circuit boards. My elective courses in economics, decision theory and management science led me to grow interested in economics and I was admitted to the master's degree program in economics at the University of Toronto. I was grateful to study economics, again--and more grateful still to gain exposure to a wider range of social sciences--in my Ph.D. in Behavioural & Policy Sciences, at MIT. At MIT, my advisor was the incomparable Rebecca Henderson.
Prior to and during research and academic studies, I held positions at The Economist Group (where I led the consulting practice studying technology and information industries in Europe, before becoming global director of research for the telecoms division), Qualcomm (where I led teams on M&A and large-scale infrastructure deals in Latin America), Braxton Associates (where I was a strategy consulting in North and South America), Nortel (where I built statistical analysis tools and ran analysis on a microprocessor fab), Bell Northern Research (where I designed and ran experiments on heat transfer problems for electronic circuit boards) and the Canadian Space Agency (where I researched mechanical lubricants for the robot Canadarm now on the international space station).
I currently advise several public and private organisations on questions of strategy, data science and 'analytics', platform design and performing econometric analysis and experiments.
Boudreau, K. and A. Hagiu. 2009. Platforms Rules: Multi-sided Platforms as Regulators. A. Gawer, ed. Platforms, Markets and Innovation. Edward Elgar, London.
Boudreau, K. and K. Lakhani. 2009. How to Manage Outside Innovation: Competitive Markets or Collaborative Communities? MIT Sloan Management Review vol. 50 (4) pp. 69-75.
Boudreau, K. (2010). Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving Control. Management Science. 56(10) 1849-1872.
Boudreau, K., N. Lacetera and K. Lakhani (2011). Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis. Management Science. 57(5) 843-863.
Boudreau, K. and K. Lakhani (2011) The Confederacy of Heterogeneous Software Organizations and Heterogeneous Developers: Field Experimental Evidence on Sorting and Worker Effort. J. Lerner and S. Stern (eds.), The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity, 50th Anniversary Volume. National Bureau of Economic Research.
Boudreau, K. (2012). Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom? An Early Look at Large Numbers of Software “Apps” Developers and Patterns of Innovation. Organization Science.
Lakhani, K.*, K. Boudreau*, L. Backstrom, C. Baldwin, P. Loh, E. Lonstein, M. Lydon, A. MacCormack, R. Arnaout* and E. Guinan*. (2013) Competitive Crowdsourcing for Informatics Expertise in Big Data Biomedicine. Nature Biotechnology
Boudreau, K. and K. Lakhani. 2013. Using the Crowd as an Innovation Partner. Harvard Business Review.
Guinan, E., K. Boudreau, K. Lakhani. 2013. Experiments in Open Innovation at the Harvard Medical School. MIT Sloan Management Review.
Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani. Cumulative Innovation & Open Disclosure of Intermediate Results: Evidence from a Policy Experiment in Bioinformatics. (under review)
Boudreau, K., C. Helfat, K. Lakhani, M. Menietti. Performance Responses to Competition Across Skill-Levels in Rank Order Tournaments: Field Evidence and Implications for Tournament Design (under review)
Boudreau, K. and K. Lakhani. Worker Self-Selection and Sorting on an Online Innovation Contest Platform. (under review)
Boudreau, K. and L. Jeppesen. Competing with Crowd Complementors: The Network Effect Mirage. (under review)
Boudreau, K., E. Guinan, K. Lakhani and C. Riedl. Evaluation of Scientific Grant Proposals in Science. (under review)
Riedl, Zanibbi, Hearst, Zhu, Menietti, Boudreau, Crusan, Metelsky, Lakani. Detecting Figures and Part Labels in Patents: A Competition-Based Development of Image Processing Algorithms. (under review)
Under Preparation for Submission
Blasco, A., K. Boudreau, K. Lakhani, M. Menietti, C. Riedl. Do Crowds have the Wisdom to Self-Organize (under preparation)
K. Boudreau, K. Lakhani, C. Riedl, A. Wooley. From Crowds to Collaborators: Initiating Effort & Sustaining Collaboration Among Online Creative Workers (under preparation)
Boudreau, K., C. Helfat, K. Lakhani, M. Menietti. Cognitive Response to Competition (under preparation)
Boudreau, K., R. Corbi, L. Jeppesen and M. Miric. Digital Innovation, Competition and Appropriability. (under preparation)
Boudreau, K., I. Ganguli, P. Gaule, E. Guinan and K. Lakhani. Search Costs in the Formation of Scientific Collaborations. (under preparation)