Social Production Theory is a concept that explains how social interactions and relationships influence the production of goods and services in society. The theory suggests that social factors, such as cultural norms, values, and beliefs, play a significant role in shaping the way we produce goods and services.

Origins of Social Production Theory

The concept of Social Production Theory was first introduced by Yochai Benkler in his book “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom.” According to Benkler, the traditional model of production, which relies on hierarchical structures and market-based incentives, is no longer sufficient for explaining the way goods and services are produced in today’s digital age.

The Key Components of Social Production Theory

Social Production Theory is based on three key components:

1. Peer Production: Peer production refers to the collaborative production process where individuals come together to create goods or services without a centralized hierarchy. This type of production relies on open communication, shared knowledge, and mutual trust.

2. Commons-Based Peer Production: Commons-based peer production involves the creation of digital goods or services that are made available for free to anyone who wants to use them. This type of production is based on sharing knowledge and resources rather than competition.

3. Networked Information Economy: The networked information economy refers to a system where information is freely available and accessible to everyone. In this type of economy, individuals can collaborate with each other without any physical barriers.

The Significance of Social Production Theory

Social Production Theory has significant implications for our understanding of how goods and services are produced in society. It suggests that social relationships play a critical role in shaping our economic systems.


In conclusion, Social Production Theory is a crucial concept for understanding the way goods and services are produced in today’s society. It emphasizes the importance of collaboration, open communication, and shared knowledge in creating a more equitable and sustainable economic system. By incorporating these principles into our production processes, we can create a more just and prosperous society for all.