Intermediaries, Users and Social Learning in Technological Innovation

International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 295-325, 2008

Posted: 23 Apr 2010 Last revised: 1 Aug 2014

See all articles by James K Stewart

James K Stewart

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh; European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)

Sampsa Hyysalo

Aalto University

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

This paper explores the role of intermediaries in the development and appropriation of new technologies. We focus on intermediaries that facilitate user innovation, and the linking of user innovation into supply side activities. We review findings on intermediaries in some of our studies and other available literature to build a framework to explore of how intermediaries work in making innovation happen. We make sense of these processes by taking a long-term view of the dynamics of technology and market development using the social learning in technological innovation (SLTI) framework. Our primary concern is with innovation intermediaries and their core roles of configuring, facilitating and brokering technologies, uses and relationships in uncertain and emerging markets. We show the range of positions and influence they have along the supply-use axis in a number of different innovation contexts, and how they are able to bridge the user-developer innovation domains. Equipped with these insights, we explore in more depth how intermediaries affect the shape of new information and communication technologies and the importance of identifying and nurturing the user-side intermediaries that are crucial to innovation success.

Keywords: Intermediaries, social learning, innovation, users

Suggested Citation

Stewart, James K. and Hyysalo, Sampsa, Intermediaries, Users and Social Learning in Technological Innovation (September 1, 2008). International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 295-325, 2008 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1482987

James K. Stewart (Contact Author)

Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old Surgeons Hall
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1LZ
United Kingdom

European Union - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) ( email )

Edificio Expo, C
Inca Garcilaso, s/n
Sevilla, E-41092
Spain

Sampsa Hyysalo

Aalto University ( email )

P.O. Box 21210
Helsinki, 00101
Finland

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