The present thesis aims to deduce tasks and characteristics of end users during the open innovation process on the social web. The social web with its communities, forums and blogs affords new prospects as well as unknown challenges for companies, and at the same has increasingly influenced academic research during the last few years. Especially research regarding communication behaviour on the social web as well as social web technologies has currently progressed well. However, in innovation research, social web technologies are currently primarily used to integrate users into the company’s innovation process, for example through company user toolkits or company innovation communities. In those cases users were excluded from their normal social web environment and integrated into a company’s environment, a sort of laboratory environment. Despite this, the present research project will use the natural behaviour, comments and discussions of users within their social web environment to develop and apply a new mixed-method approach with the aim to deduce tasks and characteristics of innovative end users on the social web. To apply the mixed-method approach within a longitudinal case study and to deduce statements and regularities regarding the innovation process on the social web, it was possible to analyse the end user developer online forum of one of the leading open source CRM software technologies. Based on this analysis, the assumptions from an extensive literature analysis could be verified and extended: it could be shown that the expected single innovative user does not exist. In fact, the process from the initial idea to an innovation requires different users with different characteristics and different points of view. They will be deduced, explained and presented within the present thesis.
|Date of Award||1 Mar 2012|