Co-creation profiles of CBS students: What really matters for producing unique and successful ideas? An empirical study on knowledge heterogeneity and demographic attributes

Yvonne Reinhardt

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This thesis attempts to provide Copenhagen Business School and other organizations in general, with solid investigations on the governing factors related to the development process towards unique and successful ideas for sustainable innovation. First a review on the most important and latest research in various fields of innovation management is given, including reviewing the literature of co-creation activities, new product development, user engagement, knowledge heterogeneity, and diversity theory following a capability-based view. Knowledge is seen the primary source of competitive advantage. These issues lead to the formulation of a set of research questions for the present thesis. In order to address a number of hypotheses for the governing factors of unique and successful co-creation processes, a relevant natural experiment was chosen. An in-depth analysis based on a data sample of 56 students, which were invited from Copenhagen Business School to participate in a co-creation project called Instant Innovation Camp as selected .In this event participants were organized in teams and asked to contribute each with five independent innovative ideas with the character of sustainability. Participants consisted of internal students from Copenhagen Business School and external students from foreign and global institutions of higher education. Thus, a pool of diverse students came together to co-create strategy development concepts for Copenhagen Business School to become a global role model in the areas of business research, education, and diffusion. This provided an interesting opportunity to systematically analyze a significant amount of material generated during the co-creation event. Statistical analysis of the impact of participant’s knowledge heterogeneity and demographic attributes on their ideation performances revealed several clear messages towards choosing the right persons for co-creation projects. The findings of this study contribute from a new angle to the discourse of creating competitive advantage in higher educational institutions, where students as customers are viewed as customers rather than users. Recently, the generation of co-created ideas in new product development has become a new trend and a consistent theme among scholars in the management literature. However, one of the open questions regards the engagement of the right participants for contributing to truly unique and successful ideas in terms of innovation. Thus, the results of this study support the engagement of both, internal and external participants for co-creating unique and successful ideas. Finally, evidence was found for the correlation of related educational and occupational experiences in the area of a given issue to to influence participant’s idea generation outcome. Similarly, diversity in nationality and gender were found to be important factors for unique and successful co-creation contributions. This leads to the recommendation to adjust the search process for co-creation participants accordingly to the organizations needs. To be specific, internal participants are most likely to generate successful ideas but with limited results in terms of uniqueness. The search for external participants is on the contrary recommended in the aim to generate unique ideas. However, succeeding to co-create the most unique and at the same time successful ideas requires a mix of both, internal participants with technological knowledge and external participants with unbiased minds. Empirical evidence for these correlations, their probable origins, as well as consequences for the planning of co-creation activities are all found in the thesis at hand.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages129