Empowerment Strategies for Ideation through Online Communities
February 6, 2015 Editor 0
Successful ideation is vital for new product development. In a novel approach, firms have recently and successfully empowered their customers through online communities by applying democratic principles to open innovation. In this paper, we borrow insights from the democratic system to examine the enhancement of, and the boundary conditions for, the adoption of this empowerment strategy. We conducted three series of experiments to investigate whether online community size and lead user status might affect the link between empowerment strategy and perceived impact. This study also highlights the double-edged influence of the selected outcome of an empowerment task by focusing on the negative emotions that threaten the effectiveness and sustainability of empowerment strategy. Our results show that empowerment strategy in small communities and higher lead user status can produce higher perceived impact. In addition, the outcome of empowerment strategy may engender positive and negative emotions in members of the community, which leads to distinct and different corresponding behaviour. The theoretical and practical implications of our research are discussed in the conclusion.
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