Virtual lead user communities: Drivers of knowledge creation for innovation
This study examines the creation of innovation-related knowledge in virtual communities visited mainly by lead users. Such communities enable firms to access a large number of lead users in a cost-efficient way. A propositional framework relates lead users’ characteristics to unique virtual community features to examine their potential impact on the development of valuable innovation knowledge. The authors empirically validate this framework by analyzing online contributions of lead users for mobile service innovation projects. The findings indicate that the value of their contributions stems from their ability to suggest solutions instead of simply describing problems or stating customer needs. Lead users’ technical expertise also makes them particularly well-suited to develop new functionalities, but less so for design and usability improvements. The digital context favors the creation of explicit knowledge that can be easily integrated into the development of new products. Finally, contributions given by lead users in a proactive way contain more novel insights than reactive contributions such as answers to community members’ questions. The findings should help managers stimulate, identify, and improve the use of lead users’ input in virtual communities.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
- Pamela D. Morrison & John H. Roberts & Eric von Hippel, 2000. "Determinants of User Innovation and Innovation Sharing in a Local Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1513-1527, December.
- Eric von Hippel, 2007. "Horizontal innovation networks—by and for users," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 293-315, April.
- Morrison, Pamela D. & Roberts, John H. & Midgley, David F., 2004. "The nature of lead users and measurement of leading edge status," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 351-362, March.
- Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
- M. Antioco & R.K. Moenaert & A. Lindgreen, 2008. "Reducing on going product design decision-making bias," Post-Print hal-00323010, HAL.
- Richard P. Bagozzi & Utpal M. Dholakia, 2006. "Open Source Software User Communities: A Study of Participation in Linux User Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1099-1115, July.
- Franke, Nikolaus & Shah, Sonali, 2003. "How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-178, January.
- Eric von Hippel, 1994. ""Sticky Information" and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(4), pages 429-439, April.
- Muniz, Albert M, Jr & O'Guinn, Thomas C, 2001. " Brand Community," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(4), pages 412-32, March.
- Joan E. van Aken, 2004. "Management Research Based on the Paradigm of the Design Sciences: The Quest for Field-Tested and Grounded Technological Rules," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 219-246, 03.
- Eric von Hippel, 1986. "Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product Concepts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(7), pages 791-805, July.
- Bettman, James R & Luce, Mary Frances & Payne, John W, 1998. " Constructive Consumer Choice Processes," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 187-217, December.
- Lee Sproull & Sara Kiesler, 1986. "Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizational Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(11), pages 1492-1512, November.
- Pino G. Audia & Jack A. Goncalo, 2007. "Past Success and Creativity over Time: A Study of Inventors in the Hard Disk Drive Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 1-15, January.
- Gruner, Kjell E. & Homburg, Christian, 2000. "Does Customer Interaction Enhance New Product Success?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-14, July.
- Sonali K. Shah, 2006. "Motivation, Governance, and the Viability of Hybrid Forms in Open Source Software Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1000-1014, July.
- Gary L. Lilien & Pamela D. Morrison & Kathleen Searls & Mary Sonnack & Eric von Hippel, 2002. "Performance Assessment of the Lead User Idea-Generation Process for New Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(8), pages 1042-1059, August.
- V. Krishnan & Karl T. Ulrich, 2001. "Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 1-21, January.
- Ozer, Muammer, 2009. "The roles of product lead-users and product experts in new product evaluation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 1340-1349, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:41:y:2012:i:1:p:167-177. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.