One important market related capability for firms which seek to develop radical innovations is the competence to involve the 'right' users at the 'right' time in the 'right' form. While former studies have identified a rather passive role of users in the radical innovation process, this paper focuses on the involvement of such users that are in the position to play an active role as inventors and (co)-developers. A multiple case study analysis was conducted in the field of medical technology. Five radical innovation projects within four firms were selected including medical robots and computer-assisted navigation systems. The case study analysis reveals that firms who closely interact with specific users benefit significantly for their radical innovation work. These users have a high motivation toward new solutions, are open to new technologies, possess diverse competencies, and are embedded into a very supportive environment.
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 2007, Vol 24, Issue 1-2, p. 53-75
Radical innovation; User involvement; User-driven innovation; Lead user