… Is Senior Research Fellow, head of the open and user innovation research group and the principal investigator of the joint research project “Open Foresight”.
Daniel received his PhD in 2013 from Hamburg University of Technology for his research on joining decisions contingent on the micro foundations of openness in open collaborative innovation communities. Prior his academic path, he studied Technology Management at the University of Stuttgart (Germany) and Nottingham (England) and worked from 2007 to 2011 as management advisor at the consulting firm Accenture in the domain of technology strategy and product development.
His current research concentrates on the domains of open and user innovation as well as organization theory and problem solving. In particular, he examines distributed innovation processes, integrating externals into foresight activities, the collapse of open collaborative communities, as well as idea development and crowdsourcing . His research builds on mixed research approaches and empirical data, for which he frequently collaborates with business corporations and communities. He has edited the book (together with Prof. Cornelius Herstatt) “Open Source Innovation - The Phenomenon, Participant's Behavior, Business Implication” (Routeledge, 2015). He also teaches in the ‘TIME’ (Technology- and Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship) domain at Hamburg University of Technology, as well as other universities. He was visiting scholar at Tokyo Tech University [Prof. Shuzo Fujimura, 2014] and is since September 2015 visiting scholar at the Crowd Innovation Lab [Prof. Karim Lakhani] at Harvard University.
GRANTS AND AWARDS
Post-doctoral Merit Scholarship of the German Academic Exchange Service for visiting Harvard University (2015-2016)
Grant of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, TUHH, for teaching Innovation (2016)
Ministry of Science and Research, Hamburg, accepted proposal of the Initiative to enable Research Excellence (together with Prof. Herstatt (TUHH), Prof. Spaeth (Hamburg University, Chair of Digital Markets), Prof. Koller (Helmut Schmidt University, Chair for Technology and Innovation Management) (2015-2017)
Travel grant of the German Academic Exchange Service for visiting the Academy of Management conference in Philadelphia (USA) (2014)
- Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Japan, for visiting TokyoTech University (2014)
- Habilitation Project: User-Producer-Collaboration
Open collaborations are new organizational forms for product development, which even perform in competitive environments. Distributed volunteers and users in communities create products and exhibit a new source of innovations, beyond the boundaries of the firm. This socio-economic environment challenges current organizational thinking, but also opens new opportunities. Firms can benefit by integrating innovative (lead) users in their product development process. Another opportunity is exploring weak signals early by integrating these distributed creative minds within the foresight process. From the view of independent inventors, they face significant challenges, e.g. in exploiting their developments, finding production capacities, or refine ideas for commercialization. As a result, helpful insights and developments are frequently vanished, which also creates a loss for society. However, a collaboration between firms and users would benefit both groups and society. A collaboration opens an avenue to recognize trends and upcoming product requirements, as well as to include independent minds for superior innovation exploration and exploitation.
Current research concentrates most frequently on the collaboration between firms, but neglects collaborations with and among users. The objective of this research is to understand the collaborations of firms and users, particularly their exchange relationships and integration within the foresight and new product development process. By revealing antecedents of partnering and contingency factors for cooperation we build the base for successful innovation, beyond the boundaries of the firm. We strengthen innovation performance and create a bridge particularly for small and medium sized enterprises to cope with upcoming requirements and integrate distributed users for impactful innovation and strategy development.
This research project constitutes a work package of the Open Foresight research group made possible by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Ministry of Science and Research within their initiative to enable excellent research. We are thankful for the received grant for the proposal “Open Foresight zur strategischen Sicherstellung der Innovationsfähigkeit von KMU“.
- Current research project: Open Foresight
Open collaborations are new organizational forms for product development, which even perform in competitive environments. Distributed volunteers and users in communities create products and exhibit a new source of innovations, beyond the boundaries of the firm. This socio-economic environment challenges current organizational thinking, but also opens new opportunities. One opportunity is identifying weak signals early by integrating these distributed creative minds within the innovation and foresight process. Current research concentrates most frequently on the collaboration between firms, but neglects collaborations with and among users. The objective of my research is to understand the collaborations of firms and users, particularly their exchange relationships and integration within the foresight process. Thus the project Open Foresight aims to integrate knowledge of distributed users within the planning process. We strive for a impactful and cost-effective product development, getting away from sporadic innovations to structured innovation pipelines.
- Completed research project: Self-Selection in Open Source Communities
I study distributed innovation within the context of organizational influences and competitive dynamics. Distributed innovation has phenomenally risen within the last years and iconic products like Linux or Wikipedia emerged, representing break through ideas and concepts known as Open Source Innovations. User volunteer in communities outside the boundaries of the firm and collaboratively develop new products that challenge incumbent firms and organizational behavior, while at the same time satisfy heterogeneous user needs. Considering communities as sources of innovation, my research concentrates on user self-selection and understanding mechanism of attracting volunteers in autonomous collaborations. The research is grounded empirically merging aspects of economics and psychology to grasp complex social interactions and derive implications for strategy, organizational behavior and R&D management.
Publications + Publications -
- Herstatt, C., Ehls, D. (Editors): Open Source Innovation - The Phenomenon, Participant's Behavior, Business Implication. Routeledge, 2015, 318 pages.
- Ehls, D. (2013): Joining Decisions in Open Collaborative Innovation Communities: A Discrete Choice Study, Springer Gabler. (Doctoral dissertation)
Contributions with scientifc peer review (only full paper)
- Ehls, D. (2015): Appropriating knowledge from external individuals in dyadic firm collaborations: Insights into success conditions. World Open Innovation Conference Proceedings, Santa Clara, CA
- Ehls, D. (2015): Trading-off the microfoundations of openness: Determinants of Participation Decisions in Open Innovation Initiatives. Proceedings of DRUID15. LUISS, Rome, Italy
- Ehls, D. (2015): Specifying Foresight Capabilities as Driver for Organizational Change and New Product Development. IPDMC Conference Proceedings, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Bierwald, J., Ehls, D., Herstatt, C. (2014): Entrepreneurial members in Online Innovation Communities – Blessing or Curse?. G-Forum, Oldenburg, Germany
- Ehls, D. (2014): Joining Open Source Communities under Alternatives: Openness Trade-Offs and User Traits Contingency. Academy of Management Conference Proceedings, Philadelphia, USA. (also presented: Annual meeting VHB, TIE division 2014, a later modified version at DRUID15) http://proceedings.aom.org/content/2014/1/14145.short
- Ehls, D. (2014): Attracting Participants in Open Innovation Communities: Revealing Joining Preferences. XXV ISPIM Innovation Conference Proceedings, Dublin, Ireland
- Lehnen, J., Ehls, D., Herstatt, C. (2014): How is the lead user approach implemented in practice? A literature review of articles in management press. R&D Management Conference Proceedings, Stuttgart, Deutschland
- Ehls, D., Herstatt, C. (2014): Diversity of participants in open source projects: Revealing differences within and between software, content, fun and business communities. Proceedings of the Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Boston, USA
- Ehls, D., Herstatt, C. (2013): Open Source Participation Behaviour - A Review and Introduction of a Participation Lifecycle Model. Proceedings of the 35th DRUID Celebration Conference. ESADE, Barcelona, Spain
- Ehls, D., Dedja, E., Herstatt, C. (2012): Open Source Software and Open Content Comparison: Same Same but Different. Proceedings of the 34th DRUID Conference. CBS, Copenhagen, Denmark
- Ehls, D.; Korreck, S.; Jahn R.; Zeng, M.A.; Heuschneider, S.; Herstatt, C.; Koller, H.; Spaeth, S. (2016): Open Foresight: Exploiting Information from External Sources.
Popular press, media, and further contributions
- Ehls, D. (2015): How does openness transform our workplace and even our life? Animated video available under: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kx4JITQaMas
- Lehnen, J., Ehls, D., Herstatt, C. (2015): Kundenorientierte Produktentwicklung – Vom qualifizierten Anwenderwissen der Lead User profitieren. Ideen- und Innovationsmanagement 41 (4), 138-141 http://www.ideenmanagementdigital.de/Ideenmanagement.04.2015.138
- Ehls, D. (2014): The next level of global innovation: from leading products to leading markets? International Journal of Technology Management, Vol. 64, Nos. 2/3/4, 2014