Title: On becoming creative consumers - user roles in living labs networks

Authors: Seppo Leminen; Mika Westerlund; Anna-Greta Nyström

Addresses: Laurea University of Applied Sciences, SID, Service Innovation and Design, Vanha maantie 9, FI-02650 Espoo, Finland; Department of Marketing, School of Business, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 801 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON K1S 5B6, Canada ' Åbo Akademi University, School of Business and Economics, Henrikinkatu 7, 20500 Turku, Finland

Abstract: Innovation is no longer solely undertaken by R&D organisations or academic institutions. Users are increasingly participating in all stages of innovation processes. Their role for innovation is especially important in living labs networks, whose idea builds on the co-creation of value with consumers and users. This study explores the conditions under which users co-create innovation in networks characterised by open innovation. In particular, we analyse user roles in 26 living labs in Finland, South Africa, Spain and Sweden. The paper proposes a typology of four user roles in living labs networks: informant, tester, contributor and co-creator. The results suggest that these different user roles form a figurative path towards the creative consumer that proactively co-creates value with companies.

Keywords: living labs; user communities; consumer creativity; creative consumer; open innovation; user-centric; user-driven; innovation co-creation; value; user roles; Finland; South Africa; Spain; Sweden.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2014.058082

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2014 Vol.9 No.1, pp.33 - 52

Available online: 16 Oct 2013 *

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