Triggers of Collaborative Innovation in Online User Communities

Author: Grosse, M., Pohlisch, J., & Korbel, J. J.
Published in: Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 4(4), 59
Year: 2018
Type: Academic articles
DOI: 10.3390/joitmc4040059

This study contributes to the understanding of collaborative innovation in online user communities. Aside from providing evidence for the existence of these communities, prior research focused on users’ motivations, backgrounds, and roles at the micro level but largely neglected to examine the effects of individual user activities on joint activities at the community level. By applying a netnographic research design, which is followed by a content analysis step and logistic regression analysis, we explore to what degree different user activities trigger collaborative innovation inside a community. We find two factors inherent to the initial post of a thread, problem complexity and collaboration intention, which explain the probability of collaborative innovation. The likelihood of joint activities is raised significantly if the contribution of a user ranks high on both dimensions. By quantifying collaborative user innovation, we hope to encourage the inclusion of user activities in future policy considerations. Moreover, understanding the effects of individual user activities at the community level may help companies to understand users of technologies better and to identify opportunities for collaboration.

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Connected HIIG researchers

Jakob Korbel

Former Student Assistant: Internet-enabled Innovation

Matti Grosse

Research associate: Innovation & Entrepreneurship


  • Open Access
  • Peer Reviewed