This dissertation consists of three empirical investigations that provide new insights as to how groups of users can be organised and leveraged by firms for their innovation processes. By drawing on various theories in economics, business, communication studies, sociology and psychology, a theoretical framework for the analysis was developed. This framework is structured into two parts. The first part deals with the give-and-take behaviour of individuals in user communities. In particular, it identifies factors that affect individuals’ decisions to share information with each other (give) and factors that influence the amount of benefits individuals are able to receive from their user communities (take). The second part of the framework addresses the issue of how user communities can be leveraged for innovation management. Specifically, it analyses the extent that attributes of the individual member and that of his community play a role in the selection of community members for integration in the various phases of the innovation process of the firm.
KeywordsInnovation Process User Group Community Leader Innovation Management User Community
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