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How Do Product Users Influence Corporate Invention?

Author

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  • Aaron K. Chatterji

    () (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

  • Kira Fabrizio

    () (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

Abstract

The extensive academic literature on innovation has long recognized product users as a potentially important source of ideas. Although prior work has primarily focused on understanding the unique motivations and knowledge that allow users to generate their own innovations, we extend existing theory to investigate the contribution of users to corporate invention. We draw on the knowledge-based view of the firm, evolutionary theory, and the user innovation literature to theorize that corporate inventions that integrate user knowledge will be of greater importance, contribute to a broader set of follow-on technologies, and occur earlier in the product life cycle than other corporate inventions do. We test these propositions with a large data set of medical device inventions. We find support for our predictions and discuss the implications of our results for the theoretical and empirical literature on organizational innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Aaron K. Chatterji & Kira Fabrizio, 2012. "How Do Product Users Influence Corporate Invention?," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(4), pages 971-987, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:23:y:2012:i:4:p:971-987
    DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1110.0675
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1110.0675
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Preißner, Stephanie & Raasch, Christina & Schweisfurth, Tim, 2017. "Is necessity the mother of disruption?," Kiel Working Papers 2097, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Pamela Adams & Roberto Fontana & Franco Malerba, 2016. "User-Industry Spinouts: Downstream Industry Knowledge as a Source of New Firm Entry and Survival," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 18-35, February.
    4. Bradonjic, Philip & Franke, Nikolaus & Lüthje, Christian, 2019. "Decision-makers’ underestimation of user innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 1354-1361.
    5. Kristina McElheran, 2015. "Do Market Leaders Lead in Business Process Innovation? The Case(s) of E-business Adoption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(6), pages 1197-1216, June.
    6. Aaron K. Chatterji & Kira R. Fabrizio, 2014. "Using users: When does external knowledge enhance corporate product innovation?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(10), pages 1427-1445, October.
    7. Gianluigi Giustiziero & Aseem Kaul & Brian Wu, 2019. "The Dynamics of Learning and Competition in Schumpeterian Environments," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 668-693, July.
    8. Maria Roszkowska-Menkes, 2017. "User Innovation: State of the Art and Perspectives for Future Research," Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, Fundacja Upowszechniająca Wiedzę i Naukę "Cognitione", vol. 13(2), pages 127-154.
    9. Aaron K. Chatterji & Kira R. Fabrizio, 2016. "Does the market for ideas influence the rate and direction of innovative activity? Evidence from the medical device industry," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 447-465, March.
    10. Schweisfurth, Tim G., 2017. "Comparing internal and external lead users as sources of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 238-248.
    11. Schweisfurth, Tim G. & Raasch, Christina, 2015. "Embedded lead users—The benefits of employing users for corporate innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 168-180.
    12. Sheen S. Levine & Michael J. Prietula, 2014. "Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(5), pages 1414-1433, October.
    13. Nikolaus Franke & Peter Keinz & Katharina Klausberger, 2013. "“Does This Sound Like a Fair Deal?”: Antecedents and Consequences of Fairness Expectations in the Individual’s Decision to Participate in Firm Innovation," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(5), pages 1495-1516, October.
    14. Göldner, Moritz & Herstatt, Cornelius & Canhão, Helena & Oliveira, Pedro, 2019. "User entrepreneurs for social innovation: The case of patients and caregivers as developers of tangible medical devices," Working Papers 108, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
    15. Ajay Bhaskarabhatla, 2016. "The Moderating Role of Submarket Dynamics on the Product Customization–Firm Survival Relationship," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 1049-1064, August.
    16. Wu, Chia-huei & de Jong, Jeroen P.J. & Raasch, Christina & Poldervaart, Sabrine, 2020. "Work process-related lead userness as an antecedent of innovative behavior and user innovation in organizations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(6).
    17. Matthew Grennan & Charu Gupta & Mara Lederman, 2018. "Firm Scope and Spillovers from New Product Innovation: Evidence from Medical Devices," NBER Working Papers 25183, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Kinsuk Mani Sinha & Pamela Adams & Franco Malerba, 2015. "Intermediate Users as a Source of Innovation in a Development Context: Empirical Evidence and Theory," Globelics Working Paper Series 2015-14, Globelics - Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems, Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management.

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