Identification of Lead User Characteristics Driving the Quality of Service Innovation Ideas

16 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2012

See all articles by Monika Schuhmacher

Monika Schuhmacher

Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Department of Technology, Innovation, and Start-up Management

Sabine Kuester

University of Mannheim, Department of Marketing & Innovation

Date Written: December 2012

Abstract

Research indicates that creative ideas provide the seed for successful service innovations. However, little attention has been paid to understanding idea creation, especially for service innovations. Lead user analysis has been shown to provide the highest potential to create attractive innovation ideas. But which characteristics in lead users are important in this regard is still under‐researched. In the realm of an idea contest, we examine the impact of specific lead user characteristics in driving the quality of service innovation ideas. Our study broadens the understanding of which customers are suitable and should be activated for service innovation idea contests. Using the data of 120 ideas resulting from an idea contest for new online services of soccer clubs, our findings demonstrate that specific lead user characteristics affect the quality of service ideas generated. We find that dissatisfaction with existing services has the highest impact on idea quality. Thus, companies should make use of their complaint management database to invite dissatisfied users to participate in idea contests. The results also show that highly experienced users provide ideas of higher quality. Our findings imply that companies should design closed‐membership idea contests so that only people who show specific characteristics can be admitted.

Suggested Citation

Schuhmacher, Monika and Kuester, Sabine, Identification of Lead User Characteristics Driving the Quality of Service Innovation Ideas (December 2012). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 21, Issue 4, pp. 427-442, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2182911 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12002

Monika Schuhmacher (Contact Author)

Justus-Liebig-University Gießen, Department of Technology, Innovation, and Start-up Management ( email )

Licher Str. 62
Gießen, 35394
Germany

Sabine Kuester

University of Mannheim, Department of Marketing & Innovation ( email )

Germany

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