Studies of the sources of innovations have recognized that many innovations are developedby users. However, the fact that firms employ communities of users to strengthen their innovationprocess has not yet received much attention. In firm-established user communities users freely revealinnovations to a firm's product platform, which in turn puts the firm in a favorable position (a) becausethese new product features become available to all users by sharing on a user-to-user basis, or (b)because it allows the firm to pick up the innovations and integrate them in future products and thenbenefit by selling them to all users. We study the key personal attributes of the individuals responsiblefor innovations and the creation of value in this organizational context, namely the innovative users, toexplain why firm-established user communities work. Analyzing data derived from a web-basedquestionnaire generating 442 answers we find that innovative users are likely to be (i) hobbyists, anattribute that can be assumed to affect innovators' willingness to share innovations (positively), and (ii)responsive to `firm-recognition' as a motivating factor for undertaking innovation, which explainstheir decision to join the firm's domain. In agreement with earlier studies we also find that innovativeusers are likely to be `lead users', an attribute that we assume to affect the quality of user innovation.Whether or not a firm-established user community can be turned into an asset for the firm is to a greatextent conditioned by the issues studied in this paper.
|Udgiver||Institut for Industriøkonomi og Virksomhedsstrategi, Handelshøjskolen i København|
|Status||Udgivet - 20 jun. 2004|
|Navn||Working Paper / Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy. Copenhagen Business School|
- User community
- User characteristics