Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1683503
 
 

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Comparing Business and Household Sector Innovation in Consumer Products: Findings from a Representative Study in the UK


Eric A. Von Hippel


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Jeroen P.J. De Jong


RSM Erasmus University

Steven Flowers


affiliation not provided to SSRN

September 27, 2010


Abstract:     
In a first survey of its type, we measure development and modification of consumer products by product users in a representative sample of 1,173 UK consumers aged 18 and over. We estimate this previously unmeasured type of innovation to be quite large: 6.1% of UK consumers – nearly 2.9 million individuals - have engaged in consumer product innovation during the prior three years. In aggregate, consumers’ annual product development expenditures are more than 1.4 times larger than the annual consumer product R&D expenditures of all firms in the UK combined.
Consumers engage in many small projects which seem complementary to the innovation efforts of incumbent producers. Consumer innovators very seldom protect their innovations via intellectual property, and 17% diffuse to others. These results imply that official statistics partly miss relevant innovation activity, and that existing companies should reconfigure their product development systems to find and build upon prototypes developed by consumers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Household Innovation, Consumer Innovation, User Innovation

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Date posted: September 28, 2010 ; Last revised: June 10, 2012

Suggested Citation

von Hippel, Eric A. and de Jong, Jeroen P.J. and Flowers, Steven, Comparing Business and Household Sector Innovation in Consumer Products: Findings from a Representative Study in the UK (September 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1683503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1683503

Contact Information

Eric Von Hippel (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )
E62-455
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-7155 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)
Jeroen P.J. De Jong
RSM Erasmus University ( email )
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands
Steven Flowers
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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