This article explores how technology companies can benefit from user knowledge in product and service innovation beyond mere idea generation through crowdsourcing. We investigate a case from the telecommunications sector to discover the ways a company can overcome the challenges of motivating users to participate in innovation activity and gaining from their knowledge in the innovation process. In particular, we seek to learn how the company has created understanding about the future uses of technology and the developments of the market with the lead users. In addition, we analyze the key means of capturing value from the knowledge gathered from the users, including the essential organizational practices that support user innovation and the ways the company makes sense of the vast volume and variety of user knowledge. Our empirical inquiry increases the understanding of how technology companies can complement and use crowdsourcing to effectively utilize knowledge resident in user communities.

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Keywords crowdsourcing, knowledge management, lead users, online communities, user innovation
Journal Technology Innovation Management Review
Rajala, Risto, Westerlund, M, Vuori, Mervi, & Hares, Jukka-Pekka. (2013). From Idea Crowdsourcing to Managing User Knowledge. Technology Innovation Management Review, 23–31.