Title: Social media within sustainable product development: an exploratory multiple case study on the perception of social media usability in the new product development process

Authors: Gerard Berendsen; Rick Middel; Ineke Pieters; Fabian Angard; Fredrik Hillerström

Addresses: Twente Quality Centre, P.O. Box 8071, 7550 KB Hengelo, The Netherlands ' Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden ' HAN University, Arnhem, The Netherlands ' Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

Abstract: Social media can be a useful tool in order to interact with customers and open up innovation efforts. Our case studies of firms aim to outline if, how and why social media is utilised in their product development processes. Our results show that the use of social media within product development is limited among our respondents, mainly due to limited resources in combination with a low amount of customers. The results show that a low number of customers impede the ability to realise the possible gains of using social media to facilitate communication among a large number of users. Additional challenges are perceived to be the difficulty in controlling content, measuring gains and dealing with security issues. There is no consensus among the respondents with regard to social media's perceived future potential within product development; some are quite hesitant, other companies anticipate increased potential in the future.

Keywords: social media usability; sustainable product development; new product development; NPD; sustainable innovation; sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2015.070846

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2015 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.273 - 293

Available online: 29 Jul 2015 *

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