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Berlin, September 6, 2004. User Integration in the Development Process of Innovative Communication Products and Services – An Interdisciplinary Approach 15. ITS Conference. Matthias Kempf Thilo v. Pape. Institute for Information, Organization and Management Institute for Communication Science

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Berlin september 6 2004

Berlin, September 6, 2004

User Integration in the Development Process of Innovative Communication Products and Services – An Interdisciplinary Approach15. ITS Conference

Matthias KempfThilo v. Pape

Institute for Information, Organization and ManagementInstitute for Communication Science

Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich






1990s – today:

5th Generation Innovation

Middle 1980er – early 1990er:

  • Faster cycles of innovation

  • Increasing customer demands

  • Individualization

  • Cost pressure

  • Innovation as „Networking Process“

    • Systems

    • Suppliers

    • Customers

Integrated Model

Early 1970s –middle 1980s:

  • Cooperations, especially integration of suppliers

  • Parallelized activities

  • Focus on speed of development

Coupling Model

Middle 1960s – early 1970s

  • Phase of consolidation and rationalization

  • Combination of TP and MP

  • Innovation as „…complex net of communication paths“1

Market Pull

1950s – middle 1960s:

  • Linear model

  • Strategies of differentiation

  • Rationalization of R&D comes to the fore

Technology Push

  • Linear model

  • Seller markets

  • Marketing of minor importance

Customer not considered

Customer in central role at start

Market in continuous alignment with R&D

s. Coupling Model

Innovative approaches of customer integration

DevelopmentCaused by the strong increase in importance of the resource “customer”, new models of innovation have evolved.

Lead UserThe prominent Lead User model and User Communities respectively have achieved remarkable results in some cases

Lead User

  • … are users who…

    • …have high motivation to industrialize the innovation

    • …have a high competence

    • … are not able to conduct production themselves

  • Lead User are not representative

  • Lead User anticipate the market demands previous to the majority (they are not „Early Adopters“)

  • Lead Users conduct the innovation– function themselves, directed by and with the technological realization of the enterprise.


  • pipe suspensions (Hilti)

  • parlor games (Ravensburger)

  • Numerous adhesive products (3M)

  • Also works in User Communities:

    • Sport communities (surfing, mountain biking, snowboard,…)

    • Open Source Software (Apache, Linux)

Products are usually deployed in specific and quite limited technical environment with clearly defined target segments

User toolkits toolkits empower the user find innovations themselves in a defined solution space
User ToolkitsToolkits empower the user find Innovations themselves in a defined solution space

Difficulties for the Lead Users

  • Information often hardly transferable („sticky information“)

  • Often user do not have the possibilities and resources to provide information.

  • Solution:

    • Manufacturers provide a Toolkit

    • Solution space limited– inside these limits there are possibilities of variation by users (pre-defined solution modules)

    • Complete trial-and error-cycles

    • „Design side of mass customization“


  • Nestle: Production of customized foods for restaurant chains

  • Open Source Software: STATA

    • Statistics software with standardized software-modules for multivariate data- analysis

    • Market Entry early 1990ies , today market leader

Toolkits make the User innovate – in contrast to the Lead User approach the solution space is limited.

Success stories lead user projects at 3m for example have achieved great successes
Success StoriesLead User projects at 3M, for example, have achieved great successes

Criteria LU Com. p tools

  • Novelty relative to competition 3,95 3,14 0,026

  • Fit with current strategic plan 2,40 3,96 0,001

  • Time to market 3,58 1,26 0,000

  • Global marketing potential 3,89 3,02 0,027

  • people resources required 2,11 1,19 0,005

  • Regulatory requirements for entry 2,85 0,96 0,000

  • Capital required 1,68 0,57 0,000

  • Manufacturing fit / capacity 2,53 3,44 0,047

  • Probability of success 3,42 4,52 0,002

    Quelle: Lilien/Morrison/Searls/von Hippel 2000)

Innovation Management in ServicesIn contrast to the development of physical goods, service innovation seems not to have strong backing of methods and proven concepts

Market for physical goods

  • fully developed und advanced conceptual approaches of Innovation management

  • Factors for success empirical researched

  • Well usable in practice

  • Innovative approaches of user integration exist in form of the Lead User concept and User Toolkit

Markets for immaterial Goods

  • Hardly any mature conceptional model for services

  • Partly empirical dubiously if innovation is performed systematically

  • Not clear whether user integration / participation is relevant or not

Key question
Key Question

Are the concepts approved in the market for physical goods appropriate to successfully assist with the development of communication products and services?

A communication studies perspective user integration in the creation of interactive media

Three levels of innovation

  • Technical design

    Based on innovations in microelectronics, software development and transmission technology



  • Individual appropriation Highly flexible integration into everyday life

Personal objects/services

  • Social institutionalization

    Negotiation of social functions

    and “roles of the game”



Three moments of innovation in the diffusion process

Social Institutionalization

Technical Design

Personal Appropriation


A Communication Studies-PerspectiveUser Integration in the creation of interactive media

Three levels of communication

products and services

A communication studies perspective innovation phases in the course of diffusion




Simulation of everyday uses

Abstraction from limited frame of reference

Selection of Lead Users

  • Rapid Prototyping

  • User Toolkits

  • Lead User Approach

Anticipated Social Institutionalization

Anticipated Personal Appropriation

Social Institutionalization

User integration is too much considered as a technical

Problem. The personal and social levels are neglected.

Technical Design

Personal Appropriation

A Communication Studies-PerspectiveInnovation phases in the course of diffusion


Technical problem: functional fixedness

User integration in the diffusion process


A communication studies perspective problems of user integration on the personal level




Integrating users in the innovation process should not mean isolating them from their everyday context.

A Communication Studies-PerspectiveProblems of user integration on the personal level

Drawbacks of Abstraction and Simulation

The personal everyday context triggering re-invention through appropriation often cannot be simulated.

  • Empathic Design

    „Watching consumers use products or services [...] in the course of normal, everyday routines.“ Leonard & Rayport, 2000

A communication studies perspective problems of user integration on the social level










  • Lead User Selection is not representative

  • Lead Users are not representative for the mass of end consumers

  • Technology-friendly and -competent

  • Financially well-off


Mio. Users

1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Cell phone connections in Germany 1993-2003

  • The dynamics of social institutionalization

  • Diffusion of interactive media is unlike diffusion of technical artifacts

  • Media are changed in the course of their social institutionalization

  • The effects of critical mass

  • Numerous applications depend on a critical mass of users which cannot be anticipated by small user groups.

User-Innovations generated by a small number of Users (e.g. Lead Users) often cannot be scaled to a future market.

A Communication Studies-PerspectiveProblems of user integration on the social level

Modeling the personal process of appropriation

  • Indications can be empirically deducted from existing or already terminated appropriation processes of established media products and services.

Modeling the social processes of institutionalization on different social levels

  • Exploring how social functions are being defined and negotiated among

    - small groups (families, peer-groups)

  • - fragments of society (generations, professions) as well as

  • - society as a whole, communicating through mass media

Exploring the underlying processes of appropriation and social institutionalization through fundamental research on existing innovations.

A Communication Studies-PerspectiveEmpirically modeling appropriation and social institutionalization




An interdisciplinary approach guidelines for a complementary research






Social Institutionalization

Social Institutionalization

Technical Design

Technical Design

Personal Appropriation

Personal Appropriation

An interdisciplinary approach to sensitize user integration for personal and social levels.

An interdisciplinary approachGuidelines for a complementary research

Complementing existing approaches

  • Pointing out the limits to existing approaches

  • Better Predicting future appropriation and institutionalization

  • Influencing future processes of appropriation and institutionalization through persuasion.

Future diffusion process

Anticipated Social Institutionalization

Anticipated Personal Appropriation

Past diffusion process


i n t e r m e d i a

Veronika Karnowski

Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft

Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Oettingenstr. 67

D - 80538 München

Tel.: +49 (0)89 / 2180 – 9495

E-Mail: [email protected]


Thilo v. Pape

Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft

Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Oettingenstr. 67

D - 80538 München

E-Mail: [email protected]


Matthias Kempf

Department für Betriebswirtschaft

Institut für Information, Organisation und Management

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Ludwigstraße 28 VG II

D - 80539 München

Tel. +49 (0)89 / 2180 – 3767

E-Mail: [email protected]


Prof. Dr. Werner Wirth

Institut für Publizistikwissenschaft und Medienforschung der Universität Zürich

Andreasstr. 15

CH - 8050 Zürich

Tel.: +41 (0)1 / 634 – 4661

Fax: +41 (0)1 / 634 – 4934

E-Mail: [email protected]


Ein Projekt im Rahmen der

Gefördert vom