Raasch, Christina, Cornelius Herstatt and Phillip Lock

The dynamics of user innovation: Drivers and impediments of innovation activities

International Journal of Innovation Management, 12 (3): 398-377, (2008).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1142/S1363919608002060

Abstract: Users have proven to be a principal driving force of many innovations in different industries. Therefore, more and more firms try to identify avenues to systematically involve users into their new product development. Despite the growing interest in user-driven or user-centred innovation, both in academia and industry, the drivers and impediments affecting the evolvement of user innovation activities over time have only recently become a focus of analysis. This study aims to examine user innovation over time and contribute to the extension of the existing model of user-driven innovation to a more dynamic setting. For this purpose, we study the evolution of user innovation in a field of sports equipment, a high-performance sailboat called Moth. We analyse innovation activities over several decades based on secondary data, interviews and survey results. We find that the level of user activity does not follow a unidirectional trend, but rather develops depending on a number of contextual factors. This suggests that, given a stimulating setting, user innovation can be sustained over long periods of time.

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