Openness of innovating: The new roles of customers and users in business-to-business context

Hanna Nordlund*, Tea Lempiälä, Mari Holopainen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses open innovation from the viewpoint of customers and users, focusing on their new roles. The paper focuses particularly on the 'user as the innovator' approach that encourages outsourcing at least parts of innovation process to users and user communities. The 'user as the innovator' approach is based on three premises in the existing literature: users are capable and willing to innovate, communities are important entities in innovation activity and users are willing to freely reveal their ideas. The empirical material comes mainly from business-to-consumer contexts. The aim of this paper is to highlight the characteristics of the business-to-business context and discuss the premises in that light. Finally, the paper proposes a future research agenda in order to better understand and capitalise on the 'user as the innovator' approach in business-to-business contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-297
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Business-to-business context
  • Communities
  • Innovation
  • Innovation management
  • New roles of customers and Users
  • Open innovation
  • Openness
  • User
  • User as innovator


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