Abstract

The front-end of innovation has been long portrayed as the most important area of some very successful innovations where companies tried to identify, obtain and maximize the benefit of internal and external ideas at the early stages of the innovation process. Recently, the concept of users as innovators, one of the most practiced open innovation approaches, has played a crucial role in new product development especially during opportunity identification phase at the front-end. Traditional user research methods, however, are not able to reasonably empower users for co-creating into the market of open innovation. The question remains unclear as to which user typology or combination of typology is able to provide the most valuable insights for specific types of innovation projects. The objectives of this study, therefore, are: 1. to identify limitations at the frontend of both well-established and newly-established processes, and 2. to investigate the relationship patterns of the most useful user typologies for each type of innovation project. Multiple-case study methodology was employed to gather patterns of 36 self-evaluated successful cases from 17 leading innovation consulting companies in Thailand and the U.S.A. The empirical findings reveal the limitations in the application of tools and techniques at the front-end as a result of contextual differences. Such constraints finally lead to the discovery of the most useful user typologies. Extreme users are more capable of generating novel insights than others. Early adopters and regular users are most suitable with technological projects. Less and frequent users may be the subjects of interest for tangible products, while early adopters and frequent users are useful for intangible products. The matching of such user and innovation typologies could guide researchers and business practitioners to effectively and efficiently manage their opportunity identification phase at the front-end of this new era.

Keywords

product planning & development (primary keyword), collaboration, human / user-centered design

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Co-creation at the Front-end: The matching of user typologies and innovation aspects for new product development success

The front-end of innovation has been long portrayed as the most important area of some very successful innovations where companies tried to identify, obtain and maximize the benefit of internal and external ideas at the early stages of the innovation process. Recently, the concept of users as innovators, one of the most practiced open innovation approaches, has played a crucial role in new product development especially during opportunity identification phase at the front-end. Traditional user research methods, however, are not able to reasonably empower users for co-creating into the market of open innovation. The question remains unclear as to which user typology or combination of typology is able to provide the most valuable insights for specific types of innovation projects. The objectives of this study, therefore, are: 1. to identify limitations at the frontend of both well-established and newly-established processes, and 2. to investigate the relationship patterns of the most useful user typologies for each type of innovation project. Multiple-case study methodology was employed to gather patterns of 36 self-evaluated successful cases from 17 leading innovation consulting companies in Thailand and the U.S.A. The empirical findings reveal the limitations in the application of tools and techniques at the front-end as a result of contextual differences. Such constraints finally lead to the discovery of the most useful user typologies. Extreme users are more capable of generating novel insights than others. Early adopters and regular users are most suitable with technological projects. Less and frequent users may be the subjects of interest for tangible products, while early adopters and frequent users are useful for intangible products. The matching of such user and innovation typologies could guide researchers and business practitioners to effectively and efficiently manage their opportunity identification phase at the front-end of this new era.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.