Title: Reframing the role of lead users in radical innovations: an open innovation perspective

Authors: Wim Vanhaverbeke, Jingshu Du

Addresses: Department BEW, Hasselt University, Agoralaan Gebouw D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium; Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Vlamingenstraat 83, 3000 Leuven – Belgium; ESADE Business School, Av. Pedralbes, 60-62, 08034 Barcelona, Spain. ' Hasselt University, Agoralaan, Building D, 3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium

Abstract: Developing a strong relation with lead-users can have a strong effect on the commercial success of radical innovations. We consider lead-user interaction as an important yet underexplored research topic in open innovation. In particular, we seize three themes defining the role of lead users. First, open innovation requires that the role of lead users is not analysed only at the dyad level but also at the value network level. Second, we use the innovation funnel as a tool to analyse the dynamics between lead users and the innovating firm. Finally, we show how outbound innovation activities of the innovating firm have a profound impact on the relationship between the innovating firm and its lead users.

Keywords: open innovation; lead users; value networks; value creation; added value; value capture; business models; dyad levels; innovation funnels; innovating firms; business environment; globalisation; globalization; competiveness; Europe.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2010.032715

International Journal of Business Environment, 2010 Vol.3 No.2, pp.202 - 220

Published online: 15 Apr 2010 *

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