Kauppakorkeakoulun julkaisuportaali
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Kauppakorkeakoulu | Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos | Tietojärjestelmätiede | 2013
Tutkielman numero: 13170
Social learning enabled service innovation in consumer online communities
Tekijä: Mattila, Laura
Otsikko: Social learning enabled service innovation in consumer online communities
Vuosi: 2013  Kieli: eng
Laitos: Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos
Aine: Tietojärjestelmätiede
Asiasanat: tietotalous; knowledge economy; tietojärjestelmät; information systems; oppiminen; learning; prosessit; processes; palvelut; service; innovaatiot; innovations; yhteisöt; communities
Sivumäärä: 99
Avainsanat: Social learning process, consumer online community, service innovation, communities of practice
Objectives of the Study Consumer behavior in online communities is often innovative, which is an opportunity for firms to develop their services. When consumers learn socially from shared experiences, they often create new service ideas. However, there is a lack of research in consumer social learning. The evolvement of online communities offers a new opportunity to study the phenomenon, and therefore, this research will study how learning from each other's consumption experiences enables consumers to develop new ideas of services in an online community context.

Academic background and methodology Research areas concerning consumer online communities, service co-creation with consumers as well as learning and innovating in communities are reviewed to form an academic background for the study. Inquiry-action framework (Jayanti & Singh, 2010) grounded in pragmatic learning theory is slightly modified based on other research, and used as an initial research framework for consumer social learning enabled service innovation in online communities. As a case study, this research examines one online consumer community, in which the members focused on finding quality improvement ideas in air traveling. The empirical data is qualitative: it consists of blog posts and resulting conversations. All data in the community was collected and analyzed by searching for similarities and contrasts with the initial framework. Hermeneutical interpretation was used to understand the learning process and the factors enabling learning.

Findings and conclusions Based on findings, problems are first noticed on an individual level, after which they are discussed on a collective level in an online community. Often cyclical collective inquiry process results in idea submission. New and more interactive elements were found for each collective inquiry mechanism (reflecting, refining and exploring). Three enabling conditions for social learning were also identified: promise to hire an eight blogger increased the motivation to participate, idea competition resulted in a large amount of ideas, and the facilitator role of the bloggers supported learning and ensured that the focus stays on the objectives. In managerial terms, it is possible to achieve competitive advantage if social learning is understood and supported. In the end, the study evaluates the quality of the research, identifies limitations and suggests areas for future research.
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