Engaging communities of lead users with technology: findings from a European eParticipation project

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Abstract

eParticipation tools aim to facilitate intrinsic engagement from communities of stakeholders and citizens to develop more effective, bottom-up and inclusive public policies, raising the potential to become an efficient engagement tool. It is argued that eParticipation tools such Electronic Town Meeting (eTM) are technological intermediaries that have the potential to efficiently engage communities of sought-after ‘lead users’ to leverage economically valuable ‘sticky knowledge’ in a public policy arena.While the lead user method has been demonstrated to be very effective (Lüthje and Herstatt, 2004), challenges remain around the sustainability of such an approach, particularly on a large-scale. Olson and Bakke (2001) point out that one of the challenges of embedding lead user processes is overcoming the perception that the method is itself “overly burdensome”, and that “it is very likely that the time and effort required to sustain the lead user method is a major obstacle to its adoption and/or regular use”. A possible mediating tool that might be able to efficiently leverage communities of lead users is the eTM eParticipation tool. This paper links the theoretical work in the field of user innovation and eParticipation. Empirical research comprised eight eTM (Electronic Town Meeting) case studies that were part of a large EC eParticipation project called PARTERRE. Findings show that the eTM has had a very positive effect on engaging lead users to reveal sticky knowledge as well as providing users benefits such as enhanced peer learning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2012
Event7th European Conference for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Santarem, Portugal
Duration: 20 Sep 2012 → …

Conference

Conference7th European Conference for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Period20/09/12 → …

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