Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities: Dissertation

Maria Antikainen

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To intensify the new product and service development process, companies have to admit that they need to be enriched by new external knowledge outside the company. Utilising customers' or potential customers' creativity and innovation capability has a lot of potential in new product development and service design. The open innovation (OI) concept, lead-user literature as well as value co-creation literature provide interesting possibilities to companies to improve their innovation processes by utilising the customer community creativity. Collaborative online innovation communities can maximise users' innovation potential by enabling collective thinking, which is superior to the ideas of individual users. Therefore, this study focuses on customer involvement in new product development especially in collaborative online innovation communities. The overall aim of this twofold research is to provide a framework for building and managing a collaborative online innovation community based on the knowledge of both sides: the users' motivations to participate and the maintainers' opportunities to facilitate the community especially through rewarding. To achieve the purpose of the study two research questions are answered: 1) Why users participate in collaborative online innovation communities and 2) How can maintainers facilitate collaborative online innovation communities by rewarding? The first question takes the user's perspective, which is then completed with the maintainer perspective in the second research question focusing on maintainers' ways of facilitating, especially by rewarding users in collaborative online innovation communities. The research questions are examined in five publications. This multiple case study includes three online innovation communities: FellowForce, CrowdSpirit and Owela. The main empirical data was collected from the maintainers by e-mail survey and semi-structured interviews and from the members of the communities through a web survey during the years 2007-2008. The respondents brought out various factors that motivate them to participate in collaborative online innovation communities. The factors they mentioned were: new viewpoints, a sense of efficacy, a sense of community and fun. Furthermore, interesting objectives, an open and constructive atmosphere, making and acquiring better products, winning and rewards, also motivated the respondents to collaborate. The results indicate that the lack of proper tools inhibits collaboration in online innovation communities. Moreover, 92% of the respondents suggested that all group members should be rewarded in some way. In addition, the study suggests that the rewarding strategy should be clear and transparent. Rewarding should be based on the efforts and quality of the work, instead of giving rewards based on quantity of the ideas or lotteries. The system should be flexible and rewards should be valuable for everyone. In addition to tangible rewards (e.g. money and products), intangible rewards (e.g. recognition) are also relevant. All in all, the equity and the democracy of the rewarding system are important factors for online innovation community users. This exploratory and multidisciplinary research represents a path opening in studies concerning customer involvement in companies' new product development processes in collaborative online innovation communities. From the managerial viewpoint the study contributes to providing valuable information for companies on building and managing collaborative online innovation communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Tampere University of Technology (TUT)
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Mäkinen, Saku, Supervisor, External person
    Award date29 Apr 2011
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-951-38-7730-9
    Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-7731-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

    Fingerprint

    Innovation
    Customer involvement
    Reward
    New product development
    Factors
    Creativity
    New service development
    Development process
    Value co-creation
    Intangibles
    Structured interview
    Empirical data
    Community-based
    Web survey
    Service design
    Multiple case study
    New product development process
    Sense of community
    Equity
    Atmosphere

    Keywords

    • online communities
    • open innovation
    • collaboration
    • intermediaries
    • motivation
    • rewarding
    • monetary
    • non-monetary
    • tangible
    • intangible
    • recognition
    • case study

    Cite this

    Antikainen, M. (2011). Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
    Antikainen, Maria. / Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities : Dissertation. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2011. 94 p.
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    language = "English",
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    series = "VTT Publications",
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    Antikainen, M 2011, 'Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities: Dissertation', Doctor Degree, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Espoo.

    Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities : Dissertation. / Antikainen, Maria.

    Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2011. 94 p.

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

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    T1 - Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities

    T2 - Dissertation

    AU - Antikainen, Maria

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - To intensify the new product and service development process, companies have to admit that they need to be enriched by new external knowledge outside the company. Utilising customers' or potential customers' creativity and innovation capability has a lot of potential in new product development and service design. The open innovation (OI) concept, lead-user literature as well as value co-creation literature provide interesting possibilities to companies to improve their innovation processes by utilising the customer community creativity. Collaborative online innovation communities can maximise users' innovation potential by enabling collective thinking, which is superior to the ideas of individual users. Therefore, this study focuses on customer involvement in new product development especially in collaborative online innovation communities. The overall aim of this twofold research is to provide a framework for building and managing a collaborative online innovation community based on the knowledge of both sides: the users' motivations to participate and the maintainers' opportunities to facilitate the community especially through rewarding. To achieve the purpose of the study two research questions are answered: 1) Why users participate in collaborative online innovation communities and 2) How can maintainers facilitate collaborative online innovation communities by rewarding? The first question takes the user's perspective, which is then completed with the maintainer perspective in the second research question focusing on maintainers' ways of facilitating, especially by rewarding users in collaborative online innovation communities. The research questions are examined in five publications. This multiple case study includes three online innovation communities: FellowForce, CrowdSpirit and Owela. The main empirical data was collected from the maintainers by e-mail survey and semi-structured interviews and from the members of the communities through a web survey during the years 2007-2008. The respondents brought out various factors that motivate them to participate in collaborative online innovation communities. The factors they mentioned were: new viewpoints, a sense of efficacy, a sense of community and fun. Furthermore, interesting objectives, an open and constructive atmosphere, making and acquiring better products, winning and rewards, also motivated the respondents to collaborate. The results indicate that the lack of proper tools inhibits collaboration in online innovation communities. Moreover, 92% of the respondents suggested that all group members should be rewarded in some way. In addition, the study suggests that the rewarding strategy should be clear and transparent. Rewarding should be based on the efforts and quality of the work, instead of giving rewards based on quantity of the ideas or lotteries. The system should be flexible and rewards should be valuable for everyone. In addition to tangible rewards (e.g. money and products), intangible rewards (e.g. recognition) are also relevant. All in all, the equity and the democracy of the rewarding system are important factors for online innovation community users. This exploratory and multidisciplinary research represents a path opening in studies concerning customer involvement in companies' new product development processes in collaborative online innovation communities. From the managerial viewpoint the study contributes to providing valuable information for companies on building and managing collaborative online innovation communities.

    AB - To intensify the new product and service development process, companies have to admit that they need to be enriched by new external knowledge outside the company. Utilising customers' or potential customers' creativity and innovation capability has a lot of potential in new product development and service design. The open innovation (OI) concept, lead-user literature as well as value co-creation literature provide interesting possibilities to companies to improve their innovation processes by utilising the customer community creativity. Collaborative online innovation communities can maximise users' innovation potential by enabling collective thinking, which is superior to the ideas of individual users. Therefore, this study focuses on customer involvement in new product development especially in collaborative online innovation communities. The overall aim of this twofold research is to provide a framework for building and managing a collaborative online innovation community based on the knowledge of both sides: the users' motivations to participate and the maintainers' opportunities to facilitate the community especially through rewarding. To achieve the purpose of the study two research questions are answered: 1) Why users participate in collaborative online innovation communities and 2) How can maintainers facilitate collaborative online innovation communities by rewarding? The first question takes the user's perspective, which is then completed with the maintainer perspective in the second research question focusing on maintainers' ways of facilitating, especially by rewarding users in collaborative online innovation communities. The research questions are examined in five publications. This multiple case study includes three online innovation communities: FellowForce, CrowdSpirit and Owela. The main empirical data was collected from the maintainers by e-mail survey and semi-structured interviews and from the members of the communities through a web survey during the years 2007-2008. The respondents brought out various factors that motivate them to participate in collaborative online innovation communities. The factors they mentioned were: new viewpoints, a sense of efficacy, a sense of community and fun. Furthermore, interesting objectives, an open and constructive atmosphere, making and acquiring better products, winning and rewards, also motivated the respondents to collaborate. The results indicate that the lack of proper tools inhibits collaboration in online innovation communities. Moreover, 92% of the respondents suggested that all group members should be rewarded in some way. In addition, the study suggests that the rewarding strategy should be clear and transparent. Rewarding should be based on the efforts and quality of the work, instead of giving rewards based on quantity of the ideas or lotteries. The system should be flexible and rewards should be valuable for everyone. In addition to tangible rewards (e.g. money and products), intangible rewards (e.g. recognition) are also relevant. All in all, the equity and the democracy of the rewarding system are important factors for online innovation community users. This exploratory and multidisciplinary research represents a path opening in studies concerning customer involvement in companies' new product development processes in collaborative online innovation communities. From the managerial viewpoint the study contributes to providing valuable information for companies on building and managing collaborative online innovation communities.

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    KW - open innovation

    KW - collaboration

    KW - intermediaries

    KW - motivation

    KW - rewarding

    KW - monetary

    KW - non-monetary

    KW - tangible

    KW - intangible

    KW - recognition

    KW - case study

    M3 - Dissertation

    SN - 978-951-38-7730-9

    T3 - VTT Publications

    PB - VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

    CY - Espoo

    ER -

    Antikainen M. Facilitating customer involvement in collaborative online innovation communities: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2011. 94 p.