How users and employees interact when developing a new product: Case study on creative companies seen from a process perspective

Louise Rønne & Majken Rønne

Student thesis: Master thesis


Seen from a process perspective the purpose of this thesis is to study the interaction between users and employees when developing a new product. Despite the increasing interest for studying user involvement, little research has examined the social aspects of the innovation process. With a multiple case study, users and employees from creative companies are interviewed. By analysing actions between users and employees three modes of user involvement are identified emphasising, how users can be involved differently: to inspire the employee (inspiring mode), to diffuse the reputation of the new product (legitimising mode) and to qualify the new product (sensemaking mode). The key findings underline the importance of observing actions taken by users and employees, in order to discover new innovation potential such as inspiring, diffusing or qualifying a new product. Furthermore, the thesis reveals insight about the source of innovation coming from the interaction between users and employees, highlighting the importance of the employee in user involvement. Based on the key findings, the authors develop a model of how to work with a process perspective on user involvement. The findings are valuable to researchers, as well as managers to gain in-depth knowledge on the processes of involving the users. The thesis makes an original contribution by proposing a process perspective on user involvement.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages331