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Users' contributions to radical innovation: evidence from four cases in the field of medical equipment technology

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This paper focuses on contributions of users in early phases of radical innovation projects. In a multiple case study analysis in the field of medical equipment technology, we identify characteristics of users who contribute substantially to the development of radical innovations by being their inventors and (co)-developers. These innovative users have high motivation to seek new solutions, possess a diverse set of competencies, and are embedded in a supportive environment. We furthermore observe that they play an entrepreneurial role as they establish and organize the required innovation networks. These innovation networks are needed to transform the users' radically new concepts into first physical prototypes and marketable products. The study highlights how manufacturing firms can benefit from innovative and entrepreneurial users in the early phases of radical innovation projects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Technology and Innovation Management, Berlin University of Technology, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany , Email: [email protected] 2: Department for Technology and Innovation Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstra├če 95, 21073 Hamburg, Germany , Email: [email protected] 3: Chair of Technology and Innovation Management, Berlin University of Technology, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany , Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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