Users' Contributions to Radical Innovation: Evidence from Four Cases in the Field of Medical Equipment Technology

22 Pages Posted: 26 May 2006

See all articles by Christopher Lettl

Christopher Lettl

Aarhus University - Department of Marketing and Statistics

Cornelius Herstatt

Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH)

Hans Georg Gemünden

Technical University of Berlin

Abstract

This paper focuses on contributions of users in early phases of radical innovation projects. In a multiple case study analysis in the field of medical equipment technology, we identify characteristics of users who contribute substantially to the development of radical innovations by being their inventors and (co)-developers. These innovative users have high motivation to seek new solutions, possess a diverse set of competencies, and are embedded in a supportive environment. We furthermore observe that they play an entrepreneurial role as they establish and organize the required innovation networks. These innovation networks are needed to transform the users' radically new concepts into first physical prototypes and marketable products. The study highlights how manufacturing firms can benefit from innovative and entrepreneurial users in the early phases of radical innovation projects.

Suggested Citation

Lettl, Christopher and Herstatt, Cornelius and Gemuenden, Hans Georg, Users' Contributions to Radical Innovation: Evidence from Four Cases in the Field of Medical Equipment Technology. R&D Management, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 251-272, June 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=904431 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9310.2006.00431.x

Christopher Lettl (Contact Author)

Aarhus University - Department of Marketing and Statistics ( email )

Haslegårdsvej 10
DK-8210 Aarhus
Denmark

Cornelius Herstatt

Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (TUHH) ( email )

Hamburg, D-21071
Germany

Hans Georg Gemuenden

Technical University of Berlin ( email )

Strasse des 17
10623 Berlin
Germany

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