Sticky information and the locus of problem solving implications for innovation
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“Sticky Information” and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation. Eric von Hippel. 경영학과 오퍼레이션전공 석사과정 한혜나 / 오다 아야카. Problem-Solving. Capabilities. Information. What is “Sticky Information”?.

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“Sticky Information” and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation

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“Sticky Information” and the Locus of Problem Solving: Implications for Innovation

Eric von Hippel

경영학과 오퍼레이션전공석사과정 한혜나/ 오다 아야카




What is “Sticky Information”?

The stickiness of a given unit of information in a given instance is defined as “the incremental expenditure required to transfer that unit of information to a specified locus in a form usable by a give information seeker.”

Information Provider

Information Seeker

Why is Information ‘sticky’?

  • The nature of the information itself(explicit vs tacit)

  • The amount of information that must be transferred

  • Attributes of the seekers and providers of the information(Importance of prior knowledge)

The Impact of Information Stickiness on the Locus of Innovation-Related Problem Solving: Four Propositions

  • When information needed for innovation-related problem solving is held at one locus as sticky information, the locus of problem-solving activity will tend to take place at that site.

  • When the solving of a given problem requires access to sticky information located at two or more sties, problem-solving activity will sometimes move iteratively among these sites.

  • When the information transfer costs of iteration are high, innovation related problem-solving activities that require access to multiple loci of sticky information will sometimes be “task partitioned” into sub-problems that each draw on only one such locus of sticky information.

  • When the costs of iteration are considered to be high, efforts will sometimes be directed toward investing in “unsticking” or reducing the stickiness of some of the information.

Discussion Questions

  • What is an example of ‘sticky information’?

  • Other than the cost of transferring information, are there any other factors that affect the firms to hesitate receiving sticky information?

  • Due to the information transfer costs, firms may tend to seek local information as opposed to distant one. What are the pros and cons?

  • How can the firms utilize (efficiently) the sticky information held by users?

Discussion Questions

  • ToolkitToolkits for user innovation and design are integrated sets of product-design, prototyping, and design-testing tools intended for user by end users. The goal of a toolkit is to enable non-specialist users to design high-quality, producible custom products that exactly meet their needs. (von Hippel, 2005)

  • User Innovation Example

Discussion Questions

Information stickiness between:








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