Kauppakorkeakoulun julkaisuportaali
Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulun gradujen tiedot nyt Aaltodocissa: Aaltodoc-julkaisuarkisto
Kauppakorkeakoulu | Markkinoinnin ja johtamisen laitos | Markkinointi | 2010
Tutkielman numero: 12201
Managing customers' knowledge in innovation creation - A challenging opportunity in virtual communities
Tekijä: Hares, Jukka-Pekka
Otsikko: Managing customers' knowledge in innovation creation - A challenging opportunity in virtual communities
Vuosi: 2010  Kieli: eng
Laitos: Markkinoinnin ja johtamisen laitos
Aine: Markkinointi
Asiasanat: markkinointi; marketing; innovaatiot; innovations; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management; asiakkaat; customers; asiakashallinta; customer relationship management; yhteisöt; communities; sosiaalinen media; social media; tuotekehitys; product development
Sivumäärä: 113
Avainsanat: innovation; customer knowledge management; innovation management; customer orientation; virtual communities; product development; lead user
Objectives Innovations are vital for companies to success. Customers form nowadays an important source of innovations and ideas for a company. The user-driven innovations have been observed already since 1960’s, so as a concept it is not new. However, outsourcing the innovation to virtual communities is relatively fresh idea. Moreover, exploiting the knowledge of consumers in the innovation process is an area that have not been researched widely yet. Concept of Customer Knowledge Management is a new concept that concentrates on managing the knowledge of the customers, and transferring it to the company. The innovation management is also important considering the effectiveness and functioning of innovation in the company. The purpose of this research is to find out methods to effectively exploit customers’ knowledge in innovations. Moreover, the facilitation of the process and solutions to the related challenges are emphasized.

Methods This research is made using qualitative methods and the empirical material was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were employees of case company Nokia, representing expertise of different fields around the subject. The empirical analysis was made by observing the interviews from the basis of research questions and concentrating on the salient themes. The analysis was made from the company’s perspective.

Results The findings of this research are based on the finding of the previous literature related to empirical analysis. The most important thing is the customer oriented mind set in the company. Every employee should think from consumers’ perspective and every product needs to have real value for consumers. Continuous interaction is also highly crucial and ideas should be implemented immediately. The participation in the innovation process should be made as easy as possible for the consumers and the ideas should be easy to submit. Furthermore, the consumers should be engaged in the innovation process throughout the whole product lifecycle. The tacit nature of the knowledge caused the main challenges concerning the CKM practices.
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