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Journal Articles European Management Journal Year : 2023

Innovation communities' contributions throughout firms’ innovation processes: An outdoor sports industry case study

Abstract

Although it is crucial for firms to select openness patterns and strategies to involve innovation communities more effectively, the literature treats innovation communities as homogeneous. However, organizations may mobilize various innovation communities, including external and/or internal members. Similarly, little is known about how firms may involve those different types of innovation community during the distinct phases of their innovation processes. In this context, our main research questions are: For what contributions do companies solicit innovation communities? Do these contributions vary in content and intensity depending on the community and the phase of the innovation process? We distinguish between three types of innovation community (user, practice, and epistemic) and use a dynamic approach, considering four innovation process phases (opportunity recognition, search for solutions, development, and diffusion). The multicase study design includes three iconic firms from the outdoor sports industry and relies on archival data, observations, and 31 semidirective interviews with members of their innovation teams. Our results first show the important involvement of innovation communities during the innovation process. They also highlight the complementary use of those communities to manage their contributions, alongside their dark sides, better. Finally, we emphasize the crucial contribution of internal communities of practice in the firms’ open innovation strategies.

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hal-04164977 , version 1 (18-07-2023)

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Anne Berthinier-Poncet, Sandra Dubouloz, Émilie Ruiz, Catherine Thévenard-Puthod. Innovation communities' contributions throughout firms’ innovation processes: An outdoor sports industry case study. European Management Journal, 2023, 41 (4), pp.575-589. ⟨10.1016/j.emj.2023.01.007⟩. ⟨hal-04164977⟩
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