- User innovation

User-led Innovation: From a Firms' Lens on Current &
Future Trends
Nagwan Abu El-Ella, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
The 12th International Open and User Innovation
July 28-30, 2014
- PhD student & research associate at the chair of innovation
management and entrepreneurship at HHL Leipzig Graduate
School of Management in Germany
- A coach at SMILE (Selbst Management Initiative Leipzig) for
supporting founders and young entrepreneurs.
- Research areas: user innovation, the implementation of open
innovation, the roles of web tools and trust in employee
invovlement in innovation, integrating external sources of
knowledge in innovation.
July 28, 2014
Study Objectives
- Although user involvement within the innovation process is a widely discussed question in
management literature, little is known about how companies are changing and applying
diverse concepts, processes and methods to effectively co-create with users.
- Therefore, this study researches selected aspects of how user co-creation is applied in practice
to deduct best practices and identify relevant trends. The following questions are being
researched accordingly:
How are innovation processes shaped in practice and in which stages do companies mainly
involve their users?
How are users selected for co-creation?
What are effective methods and tools for user co-creation in the process?
What other challenges arise in the co-creation process and how can they be managed?
What are the emerging trends for user co-creation?
July 28, 2014
Research Methodology
 An qualitative exploratory study approach, based on expert interviews in combination with a
literature research , is conducted. For the interviews 50 experts, from practice within Europe,
were identified and contacted.
 So far, 20 face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted.
 Expert interviews sample:
Company Field
Design/Innovation consultancy
Strategy consultancy
July 28, 2014
Initial Findings
Findings can be structured under 5 main themes:
The main used user co-creation concepts
The degree of user involvement in the different phases of the innovation process
User-selection criteria
User Co-Creation Methods & Tools
Recent firm trends for user co-creation
July 28, 2014
User Co-Creation Process
_ Though researched innovation processes generally follow a basic four-step logic, they
are characterized by low rigidity, fuzzy gates and high iterativity:
1. Research
2. Ideation
3. Concept
3. Prototype & Test
_ Level of user involvement within the innovation process follows a U-shaped pattern
with higher involvement at the beginning and at the end and lower involvement in the
middle of the process. Phases of divergent and convergent thinking allow an effective
interaction of designer vision and user knowledge.
_ Limited resources to involve users are a major constraint in user co-creation. The level
of user involvement is scalable in breadth and depth accordingly but a minimum level
is required to yield meaningful results.
July 28, 2014
User Selection & Characteristics
While the involvement of current users is key for incremental
innovation, the involvement of (extreme) lead users and
potential future users is required for potentially disruptive
_ To cover all groups, an anticipated early segmentation is required which needs to be
evolved iteratively over the process.
_ User competence is secondary if user research and co-creation is focused on user
issues, needs and aspirations. As real value and possible solutions are often hard to
express for users, a study of user behaviors is recommended.
_ Users intrinsically motivated to show competence and have fun are generally more
open to share their views than users who innovate for an economic benefit. Lack of
openness can also hint relevant issues, needs and aspirations.
July 28, 2014
User Co-Creation Trends
Big data
July 28, 2014
Thank You for Your Attention!
Corresponding author:
Nagwan Abu El-Ella
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
[email protected]
July 28, 2014

similar documents