Exploring how peer communities enable lead user innovations to become the industry standard: Community pull effects

Christoph Hienerth, Christopher Lettl

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


Literature on new product development indicates that on average around 40% of new products fail across different industries (e.g. Crawford and Di Benedetto, 2008; Crawford, 1977). Out of those that survive only few become widely accepted standard equipment in the industry (Utterback, 1996). Literature on entrepreneurship (e.g., Baron and Shane, 2008) and on innovation (e.g., Christensen, 1997) shows that such innovations often originate outside the boundaries of established firms. However, it is difficult to understand and analyze the exact source of such innovations and the entrepreneurial processes by which they are developed. It is therefore the aim of this study to shed light on how innovations become widely accepted by large segments of the market and specifically which demand-side forces are at work. An approach suitable for pursuing this objective is to focus on those individuals who are on the leading edge with respect to an important market trend (lead users) and their respective peer communities. As little knowledge is available, an explorative case study design is applied, working with cases from two different industries, specifically the medical equipment and sporting equipment industry. A longitudinal research design is used, extracting data from multiple respondents and various other sources such as reports, publications, databases, or community web pages. The research framework takes a process perspective by following the entrepreneurial processes from invention to commercialization and diffusion. In this process, micro-level variables at the individual and group level are analyzed as well as the barriers to be overcome by the individual innovator and the community.
Seiten (von - bis)175 - 195
FachzeitschriftJournal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM)
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2011

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