Dr. Kevin Boudreau

My research focuses on platform-based enterprises, including multi-sided markets, crowdsourcing, social networks, wikis, open source, open science, crowdfunding, social networks, and other approaches to organizing very large numbers of “external” contributors on platforms. In my work, I tend to focus on the supply-side of these platforms--investigating how platform design shapes aggregate outcomes (innovation, R&D, contributions, product development, problem-solving, quality, etc.).

My work tends to begin with simple, standard economic characterizations to explain fine-grained empirical patterns in naturally-occurring or field experimental data sets. I tend to find that a range of micro-mechanisms beyond just the structure of incentives and information (e.g., behavioral, motivational, sociological, and cognitive mechanisms, and heterogeneous knowledge) plays a crucial role in shaping macro/aggregate performance outcomes.

More generally, I am interested in strategy, enterprise design, innovation and policy in sectors shaped by digitization, data science, engineering, computer science, and science.

My work has been published in a range of research journals including Management Science, the RAND Journal of Economics, the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Research Policy, Nature Biotech, and with practitioner journals such as the Harvard Business Review and Sloan Management Review. I am an assistant editor of Management Science in its Business Strategy department, and in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship department.


New Papers & Manuscripts
  • Boudreau, K. Endogenous Selection and Innovation Choices in Digital Markets
  • Boudreau, K., L. Jeppesen, M. Miric. Digital Mash-ups and Intellectual Property Rights
  • Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani, M. Menietti. Incentives in Contests
  • Boudreau, K., T. Brady, I. Ganguli, P. Gaule, E. Guinan, T. Hollenberg, K. Lakhani. Search Costs and Scientific Collaborations
  • Boudreau, K. Billion Dollar Companies

    Under Review
    • Boudreau, K., Jeppesen, Reichstein, Rullani. (2015) Crowdfunding as 'Donations': Theory and Evidence.
    • Boudreau, K. (2015) Historical Evidence on Platform Organization

      Published and Forthcoming

      • Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani, M. Menietti. Performance Responses To Competition Across Skill-Levels In Rank Order Tournaments: Field Evidence and Implications For Tournament Design. RAND Journal of Economics (forthcoming).
      • Boudreau, K., and K. Lakhani (2015) Innovation Experiments: Researching Technical Advance, Knowledge Production and the Design of Supporting Institutions. In Innovation Policy and the Economy National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), volume 16, edited by Josh Lerner and Scott Stern. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
      • Boudreau, K., E. Guinan, K. Lakhani and C. Riedl. (2015) Looking Across and Looking Beyond the Knowledge Frontier: Intellectual Distance, Novelty and Resource Allocation in ScienceManagement Science (forthcoming).
      • Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani (2014) 'Open' Disclosure of Innovations, Incentives and Follow-on Reuse: Theory on Processes of Cumulative Innovation and a Field Experiment in Computational Biology. Research Policy.
      • Lakhani, K., K. Boudreau, L. Backstrom, C. Baldwin, P. Loh, E. Lonstein, M. Lydon, A. MacCormack, R. Arnaout and E. Guinan. (2013) Prize-based contests can provide solutions to computational biology problemsNature Biotechnology31(2):108. 
      • Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani. (2013) Using the Crowd as an Innovation PartnerHarvard Business Review91(4): 60-69. (Harvard Business Review McKinsey Award best paper finalist, 2013)
      • Guinan, E., K. Boudreau, K. Lakhani.  (2013) Experiments in Open Innovation at the Harvard Medical SchoolMIT Sloan Management Review54(3): 45-52.
      • Boudreau, K. (2012) Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom? An Early Look at Large Numbers of Software “Apps” Developers and Patterns of Innovation. Organization Science23: 1409-1427.
      • Boudreau, K., N. Lacetera and K. Lakhani (2011) Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis. Management Science. 57(5): 843-863. (Management Science best paper finalist)
      • Boudreau, K., 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. (2010) Open Platform Strategies and Innovation: Granting Access vs. Devolving ControlManagement Science. 56(10): 1849-1872.
      • Boudreau, K., A. Hagiu. (2009) Platforms Rules: Multi-sided Platforms as Regulators. A. Gawer, ed. Platforms, Markets and Innovation. Edward Elgar, London.
      • Boudreau, K., K. Lakhani. (2009) How to Manage Outside Innovation: Competitive Markets or Collaborative Communities? MIT Sloan Management Review50(4): 69-75.


      • Casadesus-Masanell, R., K. Boudreau and J. Mitchell. (2008) Palm (A): The Debate on Licensing Palm's OS (1997).
      • Casadesus-Masanell, R., K. Boudreau and J. Mitchell. (2008) Palm (B): 2001.
      • Casadesus-Masanell, R., K. Boudreau and J. Mitchell. (2008) Palm (C): 2005.
      • Casadesus-Masanell, R., K. Boudreau and J. Mitchell. (2008) Palm (D): Epilogue as of 2008.
      • Francioli, S., K. Boudreau. (2008) The Commercial Space Business: EADS Astrium.
      • Blasco, A. and K. Boudreau. (2011) Fubles.com: Growing a Platform.
      • Boudreau, K. (2015) The Economist Corporate Network. (unpublished)

      K B,
      Nov 25, 2015, 2:52 PM