Introduction of a Conceptual Framework for Integrating Social Media Tools in Lead User Management
Purpose — With the rise of social media, the practice of innovation management is changing rapidly as well. While the opening up of corporate innovation processes can be observed in literature as well as in practice (commonly known as “Open Innovation”), we draw the reader’s attention to the strategic potential of social media in innovation management. For this, a conceptual framework will be introduced. Design/methodology/approach — In this chapter, we compare established concepts of knowledge management to potentials of social media in this field, which offer more efficient and promising ways to integrate external knowledge into innovation processes. This approach is discussed by considering the integration of customers and especially Lead-Users into corporate product development. Based on the concept of Open Innovation, we reflect the role of Lead-Users in the innovation process critically. Mounting on our reflections, we show the potentials of social media for integrating Lead-Users and develop a conceptual framework for the integration of Lead-Users using different social media applications. Findings — In this paper, a conceptual framework for integrating Lead-Users by using different social media applications is developed and introduced. Originality/value — The unique conceptual framework derived in this chapter is enriched with a discussion of the challenges resulting from the implementation of Lead-User integration along with social media in corporate innovation management. The chapter can help companies as well as researchers to implement a process for the integration of Lead-Users by using the potentials of social media applications.