Title: The process of user-innovation: a case study in a consumer goods setting

Authors: Robert Tietz, Pamela D. Morrison, Christian Luthje, Cornelius Herstatt

Addresses: Department of Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Schwarzenbergstr. 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany. ' School of Marketing, Faculty of Commerce and Economics, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia, ' Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Institute of Technology and Innovation Management, Philipps-University Marburg, Am Plan 2, 35032 Marburg, Germany. ' Department of Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Schwarzenbergstr. 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: Manufacturers benefit by dividing their innovation processes into distinct phases in order to ensure that development activities are performed efficiently. Users are expected to follow a more intuition-driven approach. In this paper, we analyse the way users improve or develop novel products. The field of our research is a new and rapidly evolving consumer market, the sport of kite surfing. We identified a sequence that underlies the approaches of user inventors. This sequence consists of two major stages, (1) idea generation and (2) idea realisation, each stage is further subdivided. We propose that a manufacturer can significantly profit from more closely observing such user activities.

Keywords: user innovation; lead user; innovation process; consumer markets; consumer goods; novel products; product development; kite surfing; idea generation; idea realisation; user inventors; product design; product innovation; end users.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2005.008005

International Journal of Product Development, 2005 Vol.2 No.4, pp.321 - 338

Published online: 25 Oct 2005 *

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