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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916319
 
 

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User Community vs. Producer Innovation Development Efficiency: A First Empirical Study


Christoph Hienerth


Copenhagen Business School

Eric A. Von Hippel


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

Morten Berg Jensen


University of Aarhus - School of Business and Social Sciences

June 1, 2013

MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4926-11

Abstract:     
In this paper we report upon a first empirical exploration of the relative efficiency of innovation development by product users vs. product producers. In a study of over 50 years of product innovation in the whitewater kayaking field, we find users in aggregate were approximately 3X more efficient at developing important kayaking product innovations than were producers in aggregate. We speculate that this result is driven by what we term “efficiencies of scope” in problem-solving. These can favor an aggregation of many user innovators, each spending a little, over fewer producer innovators benefitting from higher economies of scale in product development. We also note that the present study explores only one initial point on what is likely to be a complex efficiency landscape.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 37

Keywords: user innovation

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Date posted: August 25, 2011 ; Last revised: December 24, 2014

Suggested Citation

Hienerth, Christoph and von Hippel, Eric A. and Jensen, Morten Berg, User Community vs. Producer Innovation Development Efficiency: A First Empirical Study (June 1, 2013). MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4926-11 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1916319 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1916319

Contact Information

Christoph Hienerth (Contact Author)
Copenhagen Business School ( email )
Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark
Eric Von Hippel
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)
Morten Berg Jensen
University of Aarhus - School of Business and Social Sciences ( email )
Fuglesangs Alle 4
DK-8210 Aarhus V, DK 8210
Denmark
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