Paper info: When users manage the cooperation between innovative firms: the case of the software industry
When users manage the cooperation between innovative firms: the case of the software industry
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.
Our research concerns the customer/supplier relationship during the development of radical software innovation. Von Hippel and Katz (2002) consider that the customers play a decisive role in the emergence and direction that the innovation takes. More specifically, in software innovation , it is taking the customers' needs into consideration that seems critical (Cusumano 2004). Fichman and Kemerer (1997) suggest involving the users in the phases prior to the conception and development of the innovations so as to take their needs into consideration, echoing Hakansson et al's earlier statement that ",An innovation, therefore, should not be seen as the product of only one actor but as the result of an interplay between two or more actors , in other words as a product of a "network" of actor ", (Hakansson et al. 1987, p. 3). However, the first customers are likely to direct the innovation process towards their own needs which can be very specific. To what extent should the innovation designer meet these needs given that he is looking to develop a product that could be of interest to a large number of customers ? We decided to study the case of a company in the business software field. We identify the methods behind the integration in the innovation process of the first customers. We show the implications of this integration on the organisation of the innovation project and on the architecture of the innovation itself.