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They didn't ask: Online innovation communities as a latent dynamic capability

Ana Orelj and Magnus Thor Torfason

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2022, vol. 180, issue C

Abstract: Many contemporary video games demand considerable involvement from players, but in general, researchers have not considered such contributions as an innovation activity. To address the nature of gamer contribution, we conducted a longitudinal qualitative case study of the community surrounding the EVE Online video game. We employed grounded theory to investigate how the role played by community members changes over time, which influences their contribution to the innovation process. A dynamic classification model that highlights patterns of innovation contributions by different subgroups of the community emerged from this investigation. The findings were further analyzed utilizing Hirschman's theoretical framework, which was integrated with research on innovation communities. The results indicate that when properly activated, gamer communities can function as online innovation communities capable of contributing not only to product development but also to co-creation and strategy processes, constituting an external dynamic capability. This paper contributes to the literature concerning innovation communities and the dynamic capabilities of companies. Such insights also have practical implications because identifying different subgroups within communities is of strategic importance for companies, assisting managers in targeting segments of the community that could contribute more to the innovation process, as well as to other business operations.

Keywords: Innovation communities; Classification of innovation communities; Hirschman's theoretical framework; Dynamic capability; Grounded theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121738

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