How do product users influence corporate invention?
The extensive academic literature on innovation has long recognized product users as a potentially important source of ideas. Although prior work has primarily focused on understanding the unique motivations and knowledge that allow users to generate their own innovations, we extend existing theory to investigate the contribution of users to corporate invention. We draw on the knowledge-based view of the firm, evolutionary theory, and the user innovation literature to theorize that corporate inventions that integrate user knowledge will be of greater importance, contribute to a broader set of follow-on technologies, and occur earlier in the product life cycle than other corporate inventions do. We test these propositions with a large data set of medical device inventions. We find support for our predictions and discuss the implications of our results for the theoretical and empirical literature on organizational innovation. © 2012 INFORMS.
Chatterji, AK; Fabrizio, K
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