Comments for Develop innovative networks and collaborations: never walk alone

TIMPERMAN QUENTIN, GRIBAUMONT Bastien, CLOQUET Guillaume, DE WOOT Brice, SCHYNS Martin, BARBIERE Robin

(Article) Poetz, M. K. & Schreier, M. (2012). The value of Crowdsourcing: Can users Really Compete with professionals in Generating New Product Ideas? 29(2), 245-256.

Key Insights A. Firstly, the article defines the concept of crowdsourcing by the act of generating ideas of new products or services, or ideas of improvements for existing products or services by collaborating with end users. B. Afterwards, this paper tries to differentiate the two main types of users input. On the one hand, there are user needs not yet fulfilled by currently commercialized…
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Key Insights

A. Firstly, the article defines the concept of crowdsourcing by the act of generating ideas of new products or services, or ideas of improvements for existing products or services by collaborating with end users.
B. Afterwards, this paper tries to differentiate the two main types of users input. On the one hand, there are user needs not yet fulfilled by currently commercialized products. This kind of information is called “needs-based information”. On the other hand, the second type of user input named “solution-based information”, which relates to consumers directly proposing potential ways to solve their revealed needs.
C. Finally, in order to understand how effective crowdsourcing is compared to traditional idea generation processes, the article explains the results of a case study confronting professionals and end users. Their ideas are judged on the criteria of novelty, customer benefit and feasibility.

Implications

A. The optimal solution should be a combination of the two extremes. In order to be properly innovative on the current markets, innovation should lie in a combination of crowdsourcing and usage of professional techniques and knowledge. First, managers should focus on gathering new ideas from their users, that could bring effective customer benefit. Secondly, they should rely on their skilled teams of professionals to transform these ideas into feasible products that can be commercialized.
B. There exist different types of crowdsourcing based on the targeted skillset. Therefore, management teams have to identify beforehand which type of user input they expect in order to discover which type of audience they target through their crowdsourcing. Two types are particularly highlighted in this paper. On the one hand, User Innovation which consists in making a call to the wide crowd in order to help you develop a project. One famous example is the open source operating system Linux. On the other hand, Innovation Tournaments which can be illustrated with the concept of “hackathons” in which people competing against each other are experts in the domain related.

Limitations

A. The first limitation concerns the minimum knowledge required to innovate in a certain field. Indeed, it can be a real barrier to propose ideas in certain industries in which the theoretical and technological background required is so huge that the organizations can only rely on experts to manage their products.
B. Another factor influencing the effectiveness of crowdsourcing methods is the willingness of the crowd to share their findings. As a matter of fact, the crowd is not always inclined to share those ideas.

Further References

A. Estellés-Arolas, E., Gonzàlez-Ladrón-de-Guevara F. (2012). Towards an integrated crowdsourcing definition, Journal of Information Science, 38(2), 189-200.
B. Wilmot, R. (2015). Crowdsourcing Innovation: Changing the world one idea at a time. Tedx Talks. Online video (10 min).

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Dahlander, L., & Gann, D.M. (2010). How open is innovation?. Research Policy, 39(6), 699-709

These authors tried to find the magic recipe for a culture that best supports innovation. In order to find it, they studied in detail 4 companies who received the prize of “the best culture supporting innovation”. In the beginning of the article, they tried to define the word “culture” and found 164 different definitions in the literature. They decided to use this definition:…
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These authors tried to find the magic recipe for a culture that best supports innovation. In order to find it, they
studied in detail 4 companies who received the prize of “the best culture supporting innovation”. In the
beginning of the article, they tried to define the word “culture” and found 164 different definitions in the
literature. They decided to use this definition: “a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as
it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be
considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel
in relation to those problems”
The first key insight that resorted from this paper is that social innovation precedes technical innovation.
Technical innovation regarding products or services proposed by the firm is possible only if social innovation
(innovations regarding the firm’s culture and the different relationship within the firms that constitute its
hierarchy) has been done beforehand. For a manager, an implication regarding this key insight is to be
“ambidextrous”. That means to be able to exploit current and existing social innovation possibilities while,
simultaneously, dealing with new and different opportunitiesthat can have a positive impact for the company’s
culture in the future. A limitation to this managerial implication is that it seems to be unrealistic to ask all the
stakeholders to develop a chameleon attitude such that they’re able to adapt permanently to change of culture.
The role of leadership is not only to inspire but also to create and transform the culture of the company in
order to have a culture supporting the innovation objectives of the firm. For a manager, that implies that he
needs to know what’s the culture now and so to review the existing culture. Then, a second essential thing is
to take the strategy and the structure of the company into account in order to create the right culture that will
fit with the goals of the company in terms of innovation. Another thing is also to realize that transforming the
culture takes a lot of time and energy and that it is personal so that means that it is specific to your company.
Sometimes, when the leadership creates or transform the culture there is a feeling with the employees that it
comes only from above and they are not integrated in the process. So, these employees will not be motivated
and invested in their work. The culture will maybe not fit with their own values, so it can create problems (living
the company). That’s why communication is really important.
If you put the innovation into the culture, it will be a value, and an automatism in the work of your employee.
However, pay attention to letting your employee express this “non-negotiable dimension of the work” freely.
You should motivate and push some other values that will help this innovative culture to have an effective
innovative company such as authorise and reward the risk taking. Then when you think about implementing
that innovative culture in order to have an innovative company, do not push this innovation too much, you
don’t want to have employees thinking about innovation all day long and being stressed about finding “the big
new idea”.
Further references :
• Mulgan, G. (2012). The theoretical foundations of social innovation. In Social innovation (pp. 33-65).
Palgrave Macmillan, London.
• Barsh, J., Capozzi, M. M., & Davidson, J. (2008). Leadership and innovation. McKinsey Quarterly, 1,
36.
• Sciulli, Lisa M. “How organizational structure influences success in various types of innovation.”
Journal of Retail Banking Services, Spring 1998, p. 13+. Academic OneFile, Accessed 28 Apr. 2018.
• The Four Behaviors Of Innovative Leaders | Forbes (Video)

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