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Determinants of User Innovation and Innovation Sharing in a Local Market

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:46:y:2000:i:12:p:1513-1527
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.46.12.1513.12076
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric von Hippel, 1986. "Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product Concepts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(7), pages 791-805, July.
    2. Midgley, David F. & Morrison, Pamela D. & Roberts, John H., 1992. "The effect of network structure in industrial diffusion processes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 533-552, December.
    3. Schrader, Stephan, 1991. "Informal technology transfer between firms: Cooperation through information trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-170, April.
    4. N/A, 1968. "Chemical Process Plant : Innovation and the World Market," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 45(1), pages 29-51, August.
    5. von Hippel, Eric, 1976. "The dominant role of users in the scientific instrument innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 212-239, July.
    6. Vanderwerf, Pieter A., 1990. "Product tying and innovation in U.S. wire preparation equipment," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 83-96, February.
    7. Midgley, David F & Dowling, Grahame R, 1978. " Innovativeness: The Concept and Its Measurement," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 229-242, March.
    8. Glen L. Urban & Eric von Hippel, 1988. "Lead User Analyses for the Development of New Industrial Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(5), pages 569-582, May.
    9. 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.
    10. Ogawa, Susumu, 1998. "Does sticky information affect the locus of innovation? Evidence from the Japanese convenience-store industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 777-790, April.
    11. von Hippel, Eric, 1987. "Cooperation between rivals: Informal know-how trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 291-302, December.
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