Title: How to use the innovative potential of online communities? Netnography – an unobtrusive research method to absorb the knowledge and creativity of online communities
Authors: Gregor Jawecki, Johann Fuller
Addresses: Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, Innsbruck University School of Management, Universitaetsstrasse 15, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. ' Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, Innsbruck University School of Management, Universitaetsstrasse 15, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
Abstract: This article investigates how the enormous knowledge-pool of online communities can be used for new product development. Except for a few examples provided in the literature, little is known about how to best absorb the knowledge of online communities and incorporate it systematically into a company|s innovation process. In this article, we introduce a modified form of the netnography method, an unobtrusive, qualitative research method, to access consumers| experiences, thoughts, unsatisfied needs and ideas for new product development. The netnographic approach we propose in this paper is adapted to new product development. Two introduced cases prove its practical applicability for innovation. The quantity and quality of consumer contributions impressively demonstrate the potential of online communities for new product development. Although netnography is very valuable for new product development, it is quite time consuming. Until now, no adequate software tools exist which satisfactorily enable automated data collection and analysis.
Keywords: knowledge absorption; netnography; online communities; new product development; NPD; creativity; business process integration; virtual communities; web based communities; innovation; knowledge management; consumer involvement; data collection; data analysis.
International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management, 2008 Vol.3 No.4, pp.248 - 255
Published online: 06 May 2009 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article