Leading Edge Users and Latent Consumer Needs in Electromobility: Findings from a Nethnographic Study of User Innovation in High-Tech Online Communities

RWTH-TIM Working Paper, February 2014

29 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2014

See all articles by Patrick Pollok

Patrick Pollok

RWTH Aachen University

Dirk Lüttgens

RWTH Aachen University

Frank T. Piller

RWTH Aachen University

Date Written: March 20, 2014

Abstract

Netnography i.e. the systematic observation and analysis of online communities to generate insights for an innovation process, has been established as a method of user innovation in consumer goods industries. In this study we apply this technique for the first time in the context of a complex, business-to-business high-tech industry, namely services and systems for electric vehicles, by analyzing 15 online communities in this domain. We find that Netnography can largely enhance the knowledge stock of a research organization in the area in question, and provides access to key individuals with lead user characteristics. We extensively comment on the process of applying Netnography in such a setting and derive implications for further research and management practice.

Keywords: User Innovation, Innovation Communities, Netnography, Green Innovation, Empathic Design, Electric Mobility

JEL Classification: O32, O33, Q55, L62, M31

Suggested Citation

Pollok, Patrick and Lüttgens, Dirk and Piller, Frank T., Leading Edge Users and Latent Consumer Needs in Electromobility: Findings from a Nethnographic Study of User Innovation in High-Tech Online Communities (March 20, 2014). RWTH-TIM Working Paper, February 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2412081 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2412081

Patrick Pollok (Contact Author)

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
Aachen, 52056
Germany

Dirk Lüttgens

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

Templergraben 55
52056 Aachen, 52056
Germany

Frank T. Piller

RWTH Aachen University ( email )

TEMPLERGRABEN 64
AACHEN, D-52056
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tim.rwth-aachen.de/piller/

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