The new role of customers in the value creation process: Distributed innovation in the Lego world

Georgia Vago

Student thesis: Master thesis


During the last decade, the idea that the innovation process has to take place within the firm’s boundaries, and that it has to be exclusively lead by engineers and R&D departments, started to change. Today, firms know that, in order to survive, they have to open their boundaries and collaborate with third parties to create new products, new value, and new experiences. In particular, the consumer is no more the passive recipient of firm’s actions and decisions, but an active co-creator of value and products. We focus here our attention on this new role of consumer and of virtual communities, of which he is member on the Internet, in the value creation process and in the new product development one. This research wants to deeply investigate which are the dynamics of the co-creation and collaborative innovation processes between firm and consumers, in particular the members of virtual communities, and better understand aspects such as the motivations that lead consumers to be members of a virtual community and to take part in the new product development process, the collaborative innovation Web-tools that are offered by the firms, and how external ideas are integrated within the firm’s boundaries. The analysis has been conducted within specific community contexts, the virtual communities of LEGO lovers, and, in order to have a complete vision, we have analysed the phenomenon from both the company’s point of view and the consumers’ one.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages112