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Determinants of User Innovation and Innovation Sharing in a Local Market

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Author Info

  • Pamela D. Morrison

    ()
    (Faculty of Commerce and Economics, School of Marketing, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2052)

  • John H. Roberts

    ()
    (Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia 2052)

  • Eric von Hippel

    ()
    (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 38 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

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    Abstract

    It is known that end users of products and services sometimes innovate, and that innovations developed by users sometimes become the basis for important newcommercial products and services. It has also been argued and to some extent shown that such innovations will be found concentrated in a "lead user" segment of the user community. However, neither the characteristics of innovating users nor the scope of the community that they "lead" has been explored in depth. In this paper, we explore the characteristics of innovation, innovators, and innovation sharing by library users of OPAC information search systems in Australia. This market has capable users, but it is nonetheless clearly a "follower" with respect to worldwide technological advance. Wefind that 26% of users in this local market nonetheless do modify their OPACs in both major and minor ways, and that OPAC manufacturers judge many of these user modifications to be of commercial interest. We find that we can distinguish modifying from nonmodifying users on the basis of a number of factors, including their "leading-edge status" and their in-house technical capabilities. We find that many innovating users freely share their innovations with others, and find that we can distinguish users that share information about their modifications from users that do not. We conclude by considering some implications of our findings for idea generation practices in marketing.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.12.1513.12076
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 12 (December)
    Pages: 1513-1527

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:12:p:1513-1527

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    Related research

    Keywords: lead users; idea generation; new product development;

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