User According to the innovation based research, has been found to play a significant role in determining the success of new product research (O'heocha and Conboy, 2010). Users and consumers have been believed to play an overriding role in innovation process across wide range of industries. Literature has highlighted the varying role of user involvement related to different sectors. Slow moving sectors involve a great user involvement contrary to the high paced technological industry. Innovation has been viewed as a coupling process which is initiated by the minds of imaginative people. However, critiques have argued the usefulness of the user involvement in the process of product development (Woolgar, 1991). One of a common techniques that is deployed by manufacturing firm for outsourcing their product development is crowdsourcing (Kleemann et al., 2008), which can lead to the way organizations use the innovation of the users. Conflict of intellectual property right for new developed product is largely identified as an issue both for the manufacturing firms and users. Additionally, increased costs and lack of trust puts the quality of end product at risk, which is a by-product of crowdsourcing (Hautz et al., 2010).
This essay focuses on the increased involvement of the end user in innovation process. The second section of the essay highlights the available literature on the very notion of early involvement of users as a positive driver of successful production innovation. The second part also highlights a contrary view of user involvement, which is linked to uselessness of user input in the process of innovation. This essay concludes that managers of manufacturing firms needs to take a holistic view of user involvement in innovation process.
2 Literature Review
User involvement in the domain of innovation have been realized by academics and practitioners in the last few decades (Adams et al., 2013). Having a decisive understanding of the user driven needs is critically important for developing state of the art innovation products. Empirical evidence argues that technology companies do not capitalize on market research regarding consumer needs in comparison to the manufacturer companies and therefore user involvement is necessary. Traditionally, the needs and wants of consumers were determined by the manufacturing firms, as opposed to the recent trend which focuses on user-driven design specifications for product development. Empirical evidence suggests that the role played by user in product innovation is paramount (Hienerth and Lettl, 2011). It has been argued that an early intervention of the user results in successful product innovation (Malerba et al., 2007). Additionally, the importance of user is great because user plays significant role in product and process improvements called re-innovation (Conway, 1993). Hippel’s (1988) view on manufacture-active paradigm (MAP) focusing on consumer related ,market research has been refuted and a...