Title: Transforming lead user innovations into new corporate ventures: a matter of information asymmetry?

Authors: Barbara Fuchs

Addresses: University of Liechtenstein, Furst Franz Josef Strasse, FL-9490 Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Abstract: This paper analyses factors influencing the transformation of a lead user generated product concept into a new corporate venture. The main proposition is that there are information asymmetries specific to the integration of lead users at the fuzzy front end resulting in conflict and rejection of proposed ideas and concepts. The proposition is investigated based on an ethnographic study of one lead user project carried out by a large telecommunications provider. The findings of the study strongly suggest that information asymmetries exist because of interdisciplinary project teams, latency of needs and early prototyping efforts by lead users. Implications for corporate entrepreneurship research and entrepreneurial actions by innovation managers are discussed.

Keywords: fuzzy front end; user innovation; lead user theory; knowledge; corporate ventures; corporate entrepreneurship; product concepts; ethnography; telecommunications; innovation management; interdisciplinary project teams; needs latency; early prototyping.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2011.040823

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2011 Vol.14 No.1, pp.80 - 95

Published online: 26 Jun 2011 *

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