User-Producer Interaction as a Driver of Innovation: Costs and Advantages in an Open Innovation Model

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    While drawing on theories of distributed innovation and search, we conjecture that because a lot of important knowledge can only be obtained through the use of a product, the use of customer knowledge is beneficial for firms’ innovative performance. However, the use of customer knowledge also has an important downside as customers may often be conservative (for many good reasons), forcing producer firms to search for new solutions along established paths, while shying away from truly new and promising opportunities. In this paper these two forces are reconciled through an argument stating that there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between the intensity of the use of customer knowledge and innovative performance. We hypothesize that the negative effect at high levels of intensity of the use of customer knowledge is offset by firms’ broader search strategies in terms of the breadth of external search among other sources of innovation: If firms search more broadly among several sources of innovation, they are much more likely to enjoy the benefits of customer knowledge, while avoiding important negative aspects. Overall, we find empirical support for these conjectures.
    While drawing on theories of distributed innovation and search, we conjecture that because a lot of important knowledge can only be obtained through the use of a product, the use of customer knowledge is beneficial for firms’ innovative performance. However, the use of customer knowledge also has an important downside as customers may often be conservative (for many good reasons), forcing producer firms to search for new solutions along established paths, while shying away from truly new and promising opportunities. In this paper these two forces are reconciled through an argument stating that there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between the intensity of the use of customer knowledge and innovative performance. We hypothesize that the negative effect at high levels of intensity of the use of customer knowledge is offset by firms’ broader search strategies in terms of the breadth of external search among other sources of innovation: If firms search more broadly among several sources of innovation, they are much more likely to enjoy the benefits of customer knowledge, while avoiding important negative aspects. Overall, we find empirical support for these conjectures.
    LanguageEnglish
    JournalScience and Public Policy
    Volume38
    Issue number9
    Pages713-723
    ISSN0302-3427
    StatePublished - 2011

    Cite this

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    title = "User-Producer Interaction as a Driver of Innovation: Costs and Advantages in an Open Innovation Model",
    abstract = "While drawing on theories of distributed innovation and search, we conjecture that because a lot of important knowledge can only be obtained through the use of a product, the use of customer knowledge is beneficial for firms’ innovative performance. However, the use of customer knowledge also has an important downside as customers may often be conservative (for many good reasons), forcing producer firms to search for new solutions along established paths, while shying away from truly new and promising opportunities. In this paper these two forces are reconciled through an argument stating that there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between the intensity of the use of customer knowledge and innovative performance. We hypothesize that the negative effect at high levels of intensity of the use of customer knowledge is offset by firms’ broader search strategies in terms of the breadth of external search among other sources of innovation: If firms search more broadly among several sources of innovation, they are much more likely to enjoy the benefits of customer knowledge, while avoiding important negative aspects. Overall, we find empirical support for these conjectures.",
    author = "Keld Laursen",
    year = "2011",
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    volume = "38",
    pages = "713--723",
    journal = "Science and Public Policy",
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    }

    User-Producer Interaction as a Driver of Innovation : Costs and Advantages in an Open Innovation Model. / Laursen, Keld.

    In: Science and Public Policy, Vol. 38, No. 9, 2011, p. 713-723.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

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    AB - While drawing on theories of distributed innovation and search, we conjecture that because a lot of important knowledge can only be obtained through the use of a product, the use of customer knowledge is beneficial for firms’ innovative performance. However, the use of customer knowledge also has an important downside as customers may often be conservative (for many good reasons), forcing producer firms to search for new solutions along established paths, while shying away from truly new and promising opportunities. In this paper these two forces are reconciled through an argument stating that there is an inverse U-shaped relationship between the intensity of the use of customer knowledge and innovative performance. We hypothesize that the negative effect at high levels of intensity of the use of customer knowledge is offset by firms’ broader search strategies in terms of the breadth of external search among other sources of innovation: If firms search more broadly among several sources of innovation, they are much more likely to enjoy the benefits of customer knowledge, while avoiding important negative aspects. Overall, we find empirical support for these conjectures.

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