Janzik, Lars, Cornelius Herstatt and Christina Raasch

Warum Kunden in Online-Communities innovieren: Ergebnisse einer Motiveanalyse

Zeitschrift für Betriebswirtschaft, 81 (5): 81-47, (2011).

Copy reference link   DOI: 10.1007/s11573-011-0490-7

Abstract: For companies, online communities (OCs) have become a potent means of rapidly and easily identifying user needs as a result of the social and technological changes within the Web 2.0. Some OCs even are suited ideally for integration into NPD as they frequently have innovative members. Despite their growing relevance, however, user innovation activities within OCs still are underexplored. The members’ motivations to innovate and contribute to OCs in particular are part of a young line of research requiring further investigation. This research provides an in-depth netnographic analysis of innovative, privately operated OCs dedicated to tangible consumer products. Most fundamentally, we differentiate 1) motives to join OCs, 2) motives to innovate, and 3) motives to publish innovations in OCs. This is the first study to categorize the motives of innovative OC members depending on the stages of their membership as well as situational factors. Our results support companies in understanding and classifying the members’ motives in independent customer OCs. This is a precondition for the development of specific incentives that stimulate innovative user activities in OCs and contribute to customer integration.

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