Department of Economics and Business Economics

User community vs. producer innovation development efficiency: A first empirical study

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal article

    Christoph Hienerth, WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany, Eric von Hippel, MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, MA, USA,
  • Morten Berg Jensen
In this paper we report upon a first empirical exploration of the relative efficiency of innovation development by product users vs. product producers. In a study of over 50 years of product innovation in the whitewater kayaking field, we find users in aggregate were approximately 3× more efficient at developing important kayaking product innovations than were producers in aggregate. We speculate that this result is driven by what we term “efficiencies of scope” in problem-solving. These can favor an aggregation of many user innovators, each spending a little, over fewer producer innovators benefitting from higher economies of scale in product development. We also note that the present study explores only one initial point on what is likely to be a complex efficiency landscape.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch Policy
Volume43
Pages (from-to)190-201
Number of pages12
ISSN0048-7333
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Campus adgang til artiklen / Campus access to the article

    Research areas

  • User innovation, Efficiency measurement, Industry development

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