Tensions in firm-community collaboration and the role of intermediaries in exploiting synergies

Ghita Dragsdahl Lauritzen, Søren Salomo

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    A growing stream of literature suggests that innovation stems not only from a firm’s internal resources, but also relies on input from external sources. In particular, users, which increasingly gather in communities, can offer valuable contributions. Thus, collaborations between communities and firms have become central to value creation. This is also reflected in an increasing interest in user-driven innovation. However, from the context in which firms and communities intersect, tensions arise due to undefined boundaries and a lack of clear roles. Although, intermediaries such as service providers can be identified as a third party playing a substantial role in the management of such tensions, studies describing firmcommunity interaction predominantly overlook the phenomenon of intermediaries. Existing user innovation literature mostly explains the tensions from a user perspective and as dilemmas relating to power, identity, and competence that must be balanced in order to encourage and benefit from user contributions. Introducing Systems theory this paper shows that what is currently described as dilemmas that must be managed, are in fact paradoxes that are mutually enabling and must be embraced in order to foster innovation. We enrich current understandings of firmcommunity collaborations by exploring the role of intermediaries and their influence on the firm’s ability to attend to competing demands simultaneously
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the DRUID Academy Conference
    Number of pages37
    Publication date2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventDRUID Academy Conference 2013 - Aalborg, Denmark
    Duration: 16 Jan 201318 Jan 2013


    ConferenceDRUID Academy Conference 2013


    • user-driven innovation
    • Systems theory
    • Intermediaries
    • Dilemmas
    • Paradoxes


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