Embedded Lead Users inside the Firm

Tim Schweisfurth

Embedded Lead Users inside the Firm
How Innovative User Employees contribute to the Corporate Product Innovation Process

The central phenomenon of this book are embedded lead users (ELUs): employees of firms who exhibit lead user characteristics in relation to their employing firm’s products or services. Examples for this phenomenon exist amongst others in the sporting industry in which users of sporting goods are at the same time employed by manufacturers of these goods. In three consecutive studies Tim Schweisfurth explores how embedded lead users contribute to corporate innovation. He shows what factors foster the lead userness of employees and what characterizes embedded lead users’ behaviors. Various implications for firms are discussed, e.g. with respect to leveraging user knowledge for innovation.

About the author

Tim Schweisfurth completed his doctoral thesis at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). He is now working at the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management as a postdoctoral researcher.