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
Date Written: March 20, 2014
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
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