The balancing act of customer involvement for product innovation: - A case study of Electrolux and Volvo Cars
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The overall purpose is to describe how manufacturing companies involve customers in order to develop new innovations that meet customers’ needs, and furthermore illustrate how the customer involvement process can be managed. By investigating companies in similar industries where the degree of technology and pace of innovation is high, we clarify how, when and with who companies can engage activities for customer involvement.
In this qualitative study, we use a deductive approach, where individual interviews were conducted in two case companies.
In the theoretical framework we introduce the DART-model, in which building blocks of the interaction between companies and customers are treated. Connected to this, we discuss problems regarding transferring customer needs and receiving customer input. Furthermore we highlight conflicting methods of customer involvement, different types of customers to involve and different stages in which the interaction should take place.
Empirical data were collected through personal interviews with six business managers at the headquarters of Electrolux and Volvo Cars.
In contrary to the overwhelming literary hype of open innovation where companies are suggested to actively co-create value together with the customers, our findings indicate that companies learn proactively from passive customers in the early stages of the NPD-process to acquire unarticulated needs in order to create customer value. These are conscious decisions to avoid opening up the companies to the customers in terms of transparency and access. This subsequently accompanies the further process for how, when and who to involve, as the process goes from proactive towards stepwise more traditional reactive methods of customer involvement for product innovation
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 64 p.
Customer Involvement, New Product Development, Voice-of-the-consumer, Co-Creation, Product Innovation.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-26160OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-26160DiVA: diva2:734380
Subject / course
Solberg Søilen, Klaus, Professor
Andersson, Svante, Professor