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Co-Creation and User Involvement in a Living Lab: An Evaluation of Applied Methods



Living labs are only recently developing to facilitate active user involvement in an interactive setting. Research on the methodological facilitation of co-creation and user feedback in such open physical spaces is still scarce. The objectives of this paper are to identify applied methods as well as to investigate the level of user involvement in living labs to further develop theoretical insights on living labs as well as on method implementations for co-creation. A qualitative explorative approach in the form of a case study on the living lab JOSEPHS in Nuremberg is applied. This paper finds that applied methods serve either of two purposes: 1) Collecting data for innovation research, or 2) adapting co-creation to living labs. Combined accordingly, methods cover both purposes and increase user involvement. Furthermore, six factors that determine user involvement are proposed. Implications for living lab managers are provided.
13th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik,
February 12-15, 2017, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Co-Creation and User Involvement in a Living Lab:
An Evaluation of Applied Methods
Theodor Beutel, Julia M. Jonas, Kathrin M. Moeslein
Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Information Systems 1,
Nuremberg, Germany
Abstract. Living labs are only recently developing to facilitate active user
involvement in an interactive setting. Research on the methodological facilitation
of co-creation and user feedback in such open physical spaces is still scarce. The
objectives of this paper are to identify applied methods as well as to investigate
the level of user involvement in living labs to further develop theoretical insights
on living labs as well as on method implementations for co-creation. A qualitative
explorative approach in the form of a case study on the living lab JOSEPHS in
Nuremberg is applied. This paper finds that applied methods serve either of two
purposes: 1) Collecting data for innovation research, or 2) adapting co-creation
to living labs. Combined accordingly, methods cover both purposes and increase
user involvement. Furthermore, six factors that determine user involvement are
proposed. Implications for living lab managers are provided.
Keywords: Co-Creation, Living Labs, User Involvement, Methods, ICT
1 Introduction
In an era of sophisticated information and communications technology (ICT) with
empowered users and blurring organisational boundaries, innovation procedures in new
product and service development (NPSD) undergo a fundamental transformation.
Firms actively loosen conventional boundaries through the inclusion of external actors
in their NPSD activities [1]. As part of such open innovation approaches, major
importance is devoted to users. Whereas users only recently received major attention
in open innovation research [2], the emergence of user innovation research dates back
as far as four decades [3, 4]. Among open innovation practices, co-creation with users
is one of the most important and proves to be widely adopted among firms [5].
Today, many tools of open innovation are driven by ICT [6]. Benefiting from low
cost and large scale, also co-creation is often implemented online [7]. However,
building trust [7] and providing context [8] proves to be challenging over the Internet.
Here, real life settings play to their strengths [9, 10]. Living labs (LL), endorsed by the
Beutel, T.; Jonas, J.M.; Moeslein, K.M. (2017): Co-Creation and User Involvement in a Living Lab: An
Evaluation of Applied Methods, in Leimeister, J.M.; Brenner, W. (Hrsg.): Proceedings der
13. Internationalen Tagung Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI 2017), St. Gallen, S. 1453-1464
European Union [11], are a rather new approach to foster NPSD and co-creation with
users in real life settings. LLs are described as a “new way to manage the new product
development process” [12] and fit into the idea of arenas for co-creation by Bhalla [10].
LL are considered as a conceptualisation of extra-organisational open innovation [2, 8].
However, it remains rather unclear how users can and should be involved in the
context of LLs. In contrast to the firms’ and the users’ roles, the role of intermediaries
in open innovation is less illuminated [13, 14]. Furthermore, recent innovation research
has covered broadly where but less how to search for external knowledge [15]. It is
particularly questioned how methods involving the user in a LL should be chosen and
implemented. Such lack of knowledge may be attributed to the novel nature of LLs as
an area of interest. However, the importance of user involvement specifically in LLs
has been highlighted by scholars for more than a decade [16]. Mulder and Stappers [17]
state that LLs are not living up to their full potential of active user involvement in real
life settings. Hence, this paper aims to identify applied methods and to investigate the
emergence and intensity.
2 Theoretical Foundation
2.1 Co-Creation for Innovation Purposes
As real and physical spaces, LLs can be used for open innovation by facilitating co-
creation with users [2, 18, 19]. Co-creation for innovation purposes in NPSD is only
one out of several applications for co-creation [20] and is framed within the concept of
co-creation of value. While traditionally, the process of value creation was coined by
independently value-adding firms, which led to demand from passively consuming
users, value is now jointly co-created from firms and users. When users go beyond mere
consumption and become active contributors in NPSD, they co-create and extract value
for their own good [21]. Through the active role of users, the changed user-firm
relationship implies a new locus of value creation, which lies in interaction and
experience [22].
In this paper, co-creation is defined as “an active, creative and social collaboration
process between producers
(retailers) and customers
(users)” [24]. It is argued that
users place importance primarily on the value that (eventually) emerges while the
process is of little account to them [29]. Consequently, Snyder et al. [29] propose to
view outcome and process separately. However, it is not to be neglected that users
create value during co-creation processes [30], e.g. benefit from enjoyment and learning
[26]. It is therefore useful to shed more light on processes and methods of co-creation.
For a firm, the most important benefit of co-creation with users lies in an improved
access to need information, as need information tends to be sticky. Thus, better access
to user preferences leads to more effective NPSD [24].
The literature contains varying terminology, such as “company” [as in 21, 23] and “producer”
[as in 3, 24]. This paper confines the word choice to the term “firm” [as in 1, 2].
Likewise with footnote 1, this paper employs the term “user” [as in 3, 25] in place of “consumer”
[as in 26, 22], “customer” [as in 21, 24], “citizen” [as in 27, 28] and “visitor” [as in 23].
2.2 User Involvement
The involvement
of users is a fundamental dimension to co-creation [22] as well as to
open innovation [2]. User involvement can be defined as a user’s influence on the idea,
development and launch processes in NPSD [25]. Similarly, Piller, Ihl, and Vossen [24]
see co-creating users actively involved during NPSD processes, but add that they are
performing “an act of company-to-customer interaction which is facilitated by the
company” [24]. Depending on their role, users engage in different intensity, varying in
time and effort. User activity in NPSD processes can range widely among users as a
passive source of information, a co-creating contributor, and a designing innovator [33].
2.3 Living Labs
LLs provide a novel way to connect firms with users and help with “closing the gap
between open and user innovation” [34]. Compared to other innovation approaches,
LLs differ in two dimensions [8]. Firstly, LLs are capable of providing novel structures
for user involvement [35]. They involve users in an interactive and empowering way,
enabling them to become co-creators, and thus go beyond user-centred approaches that
only involve users passively [36]. Secondly, a particular strength of LLs lies in their
real life offline setting. In this regard, they overcome hurdles in knowledge transmission
relating to sticky information and tacit knowledge [37]. Therefore, LLs can be
considered as “a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating
and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts” [38].
Methods applied in Living Labs. Bergvall-Kåreborn and Ståhlbröst [27] argue that
LLs are methodologically designed in two levels. While a general framework provides
stability and continuity, a second level beneath allows spontaneity within projects [27].
Similarly, Dell'Era and Landoni [12] argue that a framework both allows and
determines the implementation of methods within a LL. The LL methodology draws
from co-creation techniques as well as from traditional innovation research methods
such as questionnaires, in-depth interviews, or focus groups. Depending on the domain
and its method, a different type of knowledge and originality can be expected [39].
Distinguishing itself from other approaches, the LL methodology stands out in active
user involvement and realism [17, 37]. Real life environments set LLs apart from
controlled environments. A real life setting is usually designed through the use of
contextual methods and/or with the aid of physical artefacts [12]. It is argued that
methods applied in LLs should adapt to the distinct advantages in interactivity and real
life environments and thus should go beyond traditional methods of innovation research
[35, 40]. However, only few studies evaluate methods applied in LLs in relation to the
distinct features of LLs, whereas traditional methods have been researched extensively
[27]. All in all, distinct attributes of LLs and advantages over other innovation
approaches have been emphasised sufficiently [8, 9, 35, 37]. However, studies linking
This paper uses the term “involvement” [as in 25, 30, 31], whereas the literature interchangeably
employs the terms “participation” [as in 3, 26] and “integration” [as in 24]. However, it is not
referred to committing oneself emotionally as in “commitment” or “dedication” [32].
methods applied to LLs to these attributes are sparse and tend to focus on NPSD phases
[18, 41] or single methods [42, 43]. Consequently, this paper conducts a comprehensive
analysis of methods and their characteristics. Accordingly, it is questioned:
(1) Which methods are implemented in a living lab and how are they
characterised according to the level of user involvement?
User Involvement in a Living Lab. While involving users is only one factor among
many that promote co-creation in a LL [19, 44], it is considered quintessential to the
LL concept [12, 35]. In LLs, firms are often one stakeholder among many [45]. Hence
distinguishing between stakeholders is required. Due to LL’s roles as intermediaries in
innovation, Piller, Ihl, and Vossen’s [24] understanding of a firm-user interaction is
altered to intermediary-user interaction. This adjustment seems appropriate because
the co-creation process takes place in and with the LL, acting as an agent for the firm.
Nevertheless, the firm is still considered to facilitate the co-creation process [24].
Regarding voluntary user involvement, many questions remain for future research
[46]. A dearth of methods and tools adapted to the distinct attributes of LLs has been
emphasised [27]. As a first step, methods applied in a LL are examined for the level of
user involvement [28]. As a result, it is proposed to shift from user-centred to user-
driven methods. However, Gray et al. [28] do not present further implications
concerning the application of co-creation methods in LLs. To date, only few studies
evaluate methods applied in LLs specifically in relation to user involvement as a
distinct feature of LLs, while observed LLs cases vary widely [28, cf. 40, 41, 47].
Hence, the second research question of this paper is as follows:
(2) How does user involvement differ and how is it determined?
3 Research Design
A qualitative explorative approach in the form of a holistic single-case study is applied.
To gain in-depth insights on co-creation methods and user involvement in LLs,
qualitative case study research is a suitable methodology [48]. Further reason lies in the
opportunity to illuminate contextual conditions and processes [48, 49]. The LL serving
as unit of analysis of the present case providing a unique setting and the LL landscape
being rather diverse [12, 50] further justifies a single-case design [48]. Hence, this paper
focusses on an in-depth analysis rather than aspiring general claims [48].
3.1 The Case
The case study is implemented at JOSEPHS® Die Service Manufaktur, a LL centrally
situated in Nuremberg in southern Germany. Within its premises, which also include a
coffee shop and a workshop area, the LL devotes an openly accessible area to five
distinct co-creation spaces, used by five companies simultaneously. Six days a week
during regular shopping hours, any passer-by is invited to come in; LL visitors await
the opportunity to engage themselves interactively in firms’ NPSD processes. Just as
LL visitors are expected to share their feedback, companies are advised to be equally
open and cooperative. Firms can utilise JOSEPH’s real life environment to test
(physical and digital) ideas and prototypes under simulated conditions with a diverse,
self-selected crowd of users. Since the LL’s launch in 2014, users had been able to co-
create about 60 diverse products and services at the LL. The firms utilising the LL come
from a broad variety of backgrounds, ranging from start-ups in consumer products, to
technology providers and larger enterprises even in business-to-business industries.
3.2 Data Collection and Analysis
This case study took place during summer 2016 and is based on primary data in the
form of physical artefacts and seven semi-structured expert interviews as well as on
secondary data from documentation material such as reports and photo documentation.
To utilise the expert’s knowledge effectively and ensure comparability, an interview
guide allowed open responses within a predefined field of interest [48, 51, 52]. All
interviews were audio recorded, transcribed following the rules proposed by Misoch
[52], and analysed using the qualitative data analysis software MAXQDA [49, 53]. The
challenges of quality in interview data lie in potential biases, poor recall, or inaccurate
articulation [48]. These are addressed through a diverse sampling of interview partners
who occupy various perspectives and positions in three different organisations as well
as through complementary data from documentation and artefacts [51].
While the interviews constitute the main and most important source of information,
including documentation and artefacts both forms a reliable starting point for the case
and allows to verify and contextualise interview data in a complementary way [48, 49].
Press releases, photo documentation and various publicity materials as well as internal
documents by the LL are analysed. Due to the importance of context, physical artefacts
such as the LL itself and objects within the LL are included in this case [54].
As part of the data analysis process, raw data from all three data sources was
approached through open coding and iteratively complemented with existing literature
[49, 51, 55]. Upon completion of the coding process, all codes, code segments and
comments were exported from MAXQDA to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.
4 Empirical Findings
A range of applied methods is identified. The variety stems from a discrepancy in
purpose, as shown in Table 1. Whereas one group of methods is utilised primarily to
have the user answer specific questions, the other group of methods primarily aims to
stimulate the user’s experience in the LL. Ultimately, all methods serve the purpose of
innovation research. While the former contribute directly to data collection, the latter
do indirectly complementing the former with beneficial LL-specific characteristics.
Methods of innovation research are threefold. Questioning methods of quantitative
and qualitative nature as well as observational methods including technology-assisted
tracking are applied. Some of these traditional innovation research methods such as
questionnaires or voting mechanisms involve the user in a rather passive and theoretical
way. In order to involve the user in a more active and practical way, a single co-creation
space can be equipped with several complementary methods, as one expert phrased as
follows: [If I] should test something, or tinker with something, then there is an active
involvement which is what we want, but which can be achieved through [traditional]
innovation research methods only then, if there is an app to try out, for instance.
Table 1: Characterisation of Applied Methods
The experts consider involving users actively as crucial, one stating that we try to
involve the user as much as possible, so you would rarely see a yes-no-query as the
only method, but rather as a supplement. It is also described as a prerequisite to
generating data for innovation research. Furthermore, it does not only make it easier for
users to give feedback but also increases their willingness to do so. Methods differ
regarding the facilitation of active user involvement in methods, as Figure 1 illustrates.
Figure 1: Differing User Involvement and Activity in Applied Methods
If considered individually, quantitative and qualitative methods of innovation
research involve the user predominantly on a theoretical level. They require the user to
answer questions, hence to think about a certain subject. Quantitative methods result in
a low to medium level of user involvement in terms of activity and variety. Qualitative
methods, on the other hand, rank substantially higher in user involvement. However,
they are equally constrained to theoretical activities. Methods with beneficial LL
characteristics may complement these innovation research methods. Examples include
Innovation Research
Price assessments,
and shadowing,
Information material,
Service staging
the provision of context and haptic experience in the case of physical artefacts, and
testable prototypes with a high level of practical activity, as two experts explain:
Whenever possible, we hand something over to the user […] if it is a physical thing or
so, because through mere haptic experiences, [the user] becomes more involved.
Figure 2: Factors and Conditions Determining Active User Involvement
Figure 2 outlines several factors, which are proposed to influence the emergence of
active user involvement beforehand. In this model, each of the six factors product, firm,
setting, method, LL staff, and users are dependent on all previous factors, with several
conditions respectively as shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Factors Determining Active User Involvement
5 Discussion
Contributing to the discussion about method application and development for new
methods in LLs [27, 40], this paper proposes a combinatorial approach. Several
complementary methods lead to the desired outcome of data for innovation research in
a more effective and more appropriate way than traditional innovation research
methods on their own. Complementing methods can adapt to the distinct features of
LLs and thus benefit traditional methods of innovation research through more richness
and quality in data. These findings are in line with Tang and Hämäläinen [41] who
argue that combining methods can lead to a better understanding of users.
A predominant use of traditional innovation research methods like interviews and
surveys in LLs is observed, congruent with Tang and Hämäläinen [56]. However, it is
LL staff
Fit for co-
No barriers
frequently argued that ICT is underused in LLs [7, 9, 18, 41, 57, 58]. Use of ICT,
however, could contribute to an improved realisation through shortening the feedback
loop between users and corporate designers in iterative processes [58], enabling a true
firm-user interaction beyond the intermediating LL. Equally, ICT could connect users
with LLs when they are not on site. Either way, higher user involvement can be
expected, as the level of activity would increase both time and effort spent.
While no systematic approach to using ICT was identified, general technology use
as part of the co-creation process occurs at times. In line with previous authors, this
study finds technologically sophisticated methods and tools being used infrequently
besides mobile handsets for usability-tests. Counterexamples include a ‘thumbs up’-
voting mechanism using a Microsoft Kinect camera for gesture recognition and virtual
reality (VR) applications using a Google Cardboard. Besides, tracking technology is
implemented, which the user, however, is not concerned with as this is an unobtrusive
way of collecting data [41]. Notably, it is found that technology use may also impede
user involvement. If a lack in technology acceptance, unfamiliarity, or technical failure
is present, this can keep users from becoming actively involved in the envisaged way.
This study proposes users as the chronologically last, thus deciding factor in
involving themselves actively. Holding the position of a co-creating partner, LL visitors
are entitled to both include and exclude themselves from the co-creation process
whenever they want and without having to give reasons [59]. In an open LL, the idea
of incentivising outsiders to become a LL visitor suggests itself at first sight. Dutilleul,
Birrer, and Mensink [45] even ask if incentives are needed in order to attract and sustain
a desired amount of LL visitors continuously. However, based on the principle of self-
selection, this study argues that such mechanisms may distort results and question their
validity. Previous studies find that material and financial rewards are not important to
users [46] while importance is attached to the value that users experience in the course
of co-creation [60]. Instead of giving financial incentives, it is proposed to improve on
the co-creation space, particularly the appeal of its setting in order to provide an
experience to LL visitors that is as much beneficial and pleasant as possible.
Managerial Implications
Implementing digital technology for an automated acquisition of implicit, behavioural
data as well as explicit, articulated data would arguably not only support LL staff and
let them focus on interpersonal communication but also accelerate the data analysis
process, thus increasing efficiency. For example, a customised mobile handset that runs
a digital content management system could record interviews, capture questionnaires,
and aggregate contextual data (e.g. place, date, time, duration). Most importantly, LL
staff needs to be provided with enough expertise in order to carry out semi-structured
interviewing and other methods of qualitative innovation research.
In the design process of co-creative activities, a firm’s requirements serve as the
starting point and may imply certain methods. However, some firms have false
expectations or request mostly quantitative methods. During communication with
customer firms, it is advisable to follow a threefold strategy of selecting appropriate
firms fitting the LL methodology, undertaking expectation management on the
innovation research outcome, and consulting firms in order to utilise a LL’s strengths.
Particularly in iterative or continuous NPSD processes in LL, the use of ICT may be
of help. ICT could bridge the gap to a firm without the necessity of sending an employee
physically to a LL. With an employee being available on call, all LL visitors had the
chance to deepen their input. On the other hand, ICT are able to reach LL visitors before
and after their physical co-creation engagement. For instance, a web interface could be
a way for LL visitors to contribute even in hindsight. It does not seem too farfetched to
assume that users might come up with new ideas after they left and had the opportunity
to rethink their contribution, but also find their additional input not worth a second
(physical) visit. In terms of a real life setting, storytelling proves beneficial for creating
overall context. Combining ICT and the method of storytelling with augmented reality
(AR), Snapchat, a story-based social media application, could fit LLs with changing
themes quite well. Its contribution to user involvement in activity and variety is yet to
be evaluated. However, it might be a way to involve younger users in particular.
6 Conclusion and Outlook
The first contribution of this paper is a review on methods that are applied in LLs.
Characterising these, two primary purposes emerge. The first group of methods directly
contributes to data collection for innovation research, while the second group
contributes indirectly and primarily complements former methods with beneficial LL-
specific characteristics in providing a real life setting and enabling user involvement.
The second contribution of this paper is a proposed model of six consecutive factors
and several conditions that influence user involvement. It is proposed that these factors
influence user involvement firstly in its emergence, and secondly in its intensity. If a
factor allows user involvement at all, it further limits its maximum intensity that
subsequent factors are able to draw on.
Concerning this study, several limitations apply. Firstly, the form of a holistic single-
case study induces an in-depth analysis, which does not permit generalisation but
requires comparison across multiple cases of LLs. Secondly, while this paper focuses
on contributing to the intermediary perspective of LLs and is conceptualised
accordingly, both the user and the firm perspective are not particularly addressed.
Exploring the field as a first step, this study indicates promising niches worth further
quantitative research. Above all, the proposed model on factors influencing user
involvement demands quantitative validation with proof of causal effects. Furthermore,
future studies should ask whether combinations of methods with a higher level of user
involvement result in superior validity or efficiency [35]. Here, studies should
contribute with other perspectives than the intermediary’s. As part of the firm, the rates
of adoption for further development and profitability might contribute to the question
which level of user involvement is considered ideal. Assuming a high level of active
user involvement, it is of interest to know which kinds of firms benefit the most.
Simulating and enhancing a real life setting, new technologies, such as AR and VR,
seem promising. It should be evaluated if they are beneficial to the level of user
involvement as well as to the co-creation process as a whole. Do these technologies
lead to more motivation and willingness among LL visitors through improved
experience and a higher perceived value? Although LLs differentiate themselves with
their offline real life settings from Internet-based technologies, ICT usage within LLs
is worth further research. While LLs utilise the Internet only rarely [35], the
combination of online-offline methods could lead the way for the future of LLs. Finally,
in providing Co-Creation as a Service, the intermediary perspective needs further
research [14]. In line with Schweitzer, Gassmann, and Rau [31], it is argued that
reciprocal effects of goal setting, chosen methods, and user involvement require further
qualitative and quantitative modelling.
7 Acknowledgments
We thank all interview partners, the JOSEPHS team, and the anonymous reviewers for
their valuable contributions to this research paper. The paper is part of current research
projects funded by the Fraunhofer IIS-SCS within its “Service Innovation” initiative.
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... Companies can use JOSEPHS'® real-life environment to test physical, as well as digital ideas and prototypes, under simulated circumstances with a diverse, self-selected group of users. The firms utilising the LL for innovation purposes come from a wide variety of backgrounds and sizes, ranging from start-ups in consumer products to technology providers and larger firms (Beutel, Jonas and Möslein, 2017). Not only do business-toconsumer firms use this space, but also business-to-business enterprises that would like to explore what the end-consumer thinks about their offering. ...
... Depending on the cocreation project and the preference of the company, JOSEPHS® employs a variety of methods and tools to collect data, ranging from questionnaires to the latest technology supported tools from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS. Secondary data, based on a study on JOSEPHS®, identifies the different types and methods that are used to capture co-creators feedback, which are presented in Table 26 (Beutel, Jonas and Möslein, 2017). The selection of data collection methods not only depends on the kind of project and the question that is posed but also on the company's preferences. ...
... Interactive space (Parker, Wills and Wills, 2013), interactive setting (Beutel, Jonas and Möslein, 2017) Setting-up an intuitive and playful layout. ...
Companies increasingly turn towards users for inspiration to develop innovative products and services. Living labs (LLs) represent a new way for companies to engage in co-creation and to better understand user needs. LLs interact with a wide set of stakeholders, such as customers, companies and universities. Therefore, coordinating co-creation is particularly complex, as it requires the inclusion of more activities and actors than those of traditional closed innovation models. It is thus crucial to identify how co-creation can be facilitated in LLs. In spite of a growing body of literature, an understanding of those factors facilitating cocreation in LLs is still lacking. To fill this gap, the perspectives of three key stakeholders, the LL facilitators, companies and co-creators, are considered. This study employs a qualitative explorative approach in the form of a holistic single-case study. A bottom-up theory building approach based on rich qualitative data, collected through interviews, focus groups, observations, questionnaires, and documentary information, is chosen, and grounded theory identified as a suitable approach. Contributions from this thesis are captured in ‘The Five Ps for Co-creation Facilitation in Living Labs’ framework which presents the conditions to allow for systematic and tailored facilitation services. The five Ps - Purpose, Principles, People, Place, and Prize – build the cornerstones of this framework. This thesis suggests that it is important to understand the purpose behind a company’s co-creation project to tailor the facilitation service to its needs. Indeed, seven distinct categories of project objectives are reported. Furthermore, this study identifies seven principles influencing the interaction of People and Place of the LL. Finally, eight categories of project outcomes are recognised, referred to as Prize. This study contributes to the research on co-creation in LLs and provides guidelines for practitioners that would like to engage in such open innovation activities.
... With regard to qualitative research, the term of co-creation is already present in relation to marketing research, in which clients (of the research) are asked to actively participate in various steps of the research process -from the idea to the research analysis (O'Hern & Rindfleisch, 2010). This co-creation is the foundation for the increasingly popular Living Laboratories research, which will be presented further in the article (Beutel et al., 2017(Beutel et al., , pp. 1453(Beutel et al., -1464. This article aims to show one more aspect of co-creation through qualitative research -co-creation of each other (researcher, respondent), thanks to the interactions that occur between them in the course of qualitative research. ...
... In the literature describing LLs, the co-creation is defined as active, creative and social cooperation involving the creation process between producers and clients (users) (Beutel et al., 2017). The basic aspect of co-creation is the involvement of users, which is expressed in their impact on the idea, development process and launch in the NPSD system (New Products and Service Development) (Jaspersen, 2010). ...
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These aspects are not widely discussed in the methodological literature, meanwhile they are important for the emergence of synergy – a characteristic feature of qualitative research. The article also points to concepts that are important for the co-existence and co-creation of the research subjects – concepts of John McKernan that concern the teaching research in action and Living Laboratories, and creative research. The author’s concept is also presented – research that creates, whose special feature is the co-existence and co-creation of research subjects. Those aspects of qualitative research should be highlighted in wide seeing at teacher research in their own daily practice. In this job, all is the research – meeting the student, evaluation, improving teaching methods, etc.
... Nonetheless, once the final as-is models and the to-be model for the maintenance process were developed, further validation methodologies were adopted. In particular, panel discussion and focus group methods were the validation methods selected [59]. ...
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All countries recognize the right to adequate housing for all human beings. Yet, in many countries, social housing is in a critical state: most buildings need to be restored and better services should be guaranteed. Such actions should be part of a larger plan aimed to overcome the organizational and technological backwardness of the agencies that manage the social housing system. With a not large, but old public asset, the Italian context may represent an interesting case to start investigating difficulties and problems in the management of the social housing system that, as it occurs in most Mediterranean countries, arise when the public housing rental model is adopted. In the paper, a multiple case study on five Italian regional public Agencies responsible for the social housing system is discussed. In particular, the theoretical lens of process theory and ambidextrous business process management are adopted to study the Agencies’ “problematic situation” and identify innovative solutions to address it. The paper contributes to research and practice on process innovation and digital transformation of public administrations: three important lessons are derived and discussed also taking into consideration Industry 5.0, the vision on the future of industry recently proposed by the European Commission. Finally, the adoption of process theory combined with ambidextrous Business Process Management is an underexplored research method in the field of Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facility Management (AEC/FM) research. The results reported in the study reaffirm the potential deriving from its adoption also in such a field.
... Such methodology is based on in-situ and mixed methods "to systemize the integration of objective and subjective aspects of daily life practices at different stages of the innovation process" [94]. These methods are used to capture the technical and social aspects of practices in a qualitative and quantitative manner [95][96][97][98]. Several methods are applied in living labs, including ethnography and lead user innovation. ...
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The purpose of this study is to synthesize the widely used theories about co-creation from two main perspectives: co-creation as an innovation process and co-creation as a design process applied to the service concept design in the built environment context. The architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry do not have much application of end-user-oriented service design in general, especially with intensive co-creation processes. To facilitate such a process, we are using a living lab environment as a laboratorial model of the real built environment, but with the opportunity to have access to the end-users and different types of stakeholders. Using the KTH Live-in-Lab explorative case study, we were able to discuss the concept of co-creation by distinguishing between co-creation as innovation and co-creation as a design process, facilitating the process of co-creation of service concepts for the proposed built environment including methods from both perspectives: innovation and design, and evaluating the process of service concepts co-creation for the built environment from the point of innovation, knowledge transfer, sustainability, and user experience.
... The findings of this review therefore reflect the observations of Beutel et al. [7] who noted that user involvement has come to be regarded as a fundamental to dimension to cocreation (p1455). Moreover, "manufacturing companies have been increasingly open to approaches that define the product based on what people need" ( [28] p5) It is reassuring that with regard to co-creating with older adults, exploring the needs of the older adults is also evident for more altruistic social/user good motivations. ...
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The purpose of this literature review is to enhance understanding of methods and processes used in living laboratories, (henceforth living labs), that are concerned with the co-creation of technological and service innovations with older adults. It is relevant to the growing discourse about how to enable the uptake and use of goods and services designed to promote older adults’ independence and how to amplify the potential for economic growth that the demand for such goods and services offers. In this paper, the methods for co-creating with older adults in living labs are explored through a scoping review of the literature. The review utilises a set of tools advanced by Arksey and O’Malley’s (Int J Soc Res Methodol 8(1):19–32, 2005) framework, to collect, evaluate and present the available literature and provide a rigorous and transparent analysis to allow other researchers to replicate the study if they so wish. The findings suggest that a broad range of methods (some of which follow user-centred design and participatory research approaches) are used in living laboratories with older people from being observed interacting with products to them having full involvement in design processes and activities. These might be carried out over short, mid or long durations and in a variety of temporary or permanent settings (e.g., personal homes, mock-up homes, community centres). The analysis also points to greater value being placed on those methods that have high and active user involvement in co-creation, in comparison to methods that have lower engagement with users in the process. However, reflecting on the literature, the authors of this paper suggest that when co-creating with older adults, a level of creative thinking might be necessary, particularly in situations where user needs cannot be readily articulated and this may indicate the need for using less active user involvement methods. This review of the literature suggests that inclusive, user-centred approaches are most conducive with ‘needs finding’ and effective ‘co-creation’ with older adults. Moreover, individual living labs can benefit from adopting a repertoire of methods, borrow from other disciplines, and adapt a flexibility of approach for effective co-creation with older adults.
... However, trust and context are easier to communicate during real-life meetings and workshops than via internet platforms and applications [34]. Rather than choosing either offline or online co-creation, a combination of the two may be a more effective way to involve citizens [35]. ...
This paper investigates the use of co-creation in transport and mobility research. Based on the review of 5 on-going research projects and 5 papers in this field of research, we find that the term co-creation is used interchangeably with terms such as co-design and co-production. Moreover, co-creation is used as an innovation approach as well as a design method, and can focus on the process as well as the outcome. Rather than being a new method or approach, we propose a definition of co-creation that defines it as a form of public participation. This public participation 2.0 uses creative methods, emphasises innovation, and is situated on the highest rungs of Arnstein’s ladder of participation. Future research should focus on the output of co-creation in order to investigate the added value of applying co-creation in transport planning.
... This perception is in line with Battisti (2012) on the need to adopt a new model for the analysis of social innovation, to deal with the user needs and the necessary collaboration between relevant social groups as active participants in the co-solution of complex problems and social rights. The co-creation in living labs is an emerging theme and has been studied in different fronts, such as the role of user characteristics in innovation contribution (Schuurman et al., 2015), the connections between interested parties in the development of innovations (Greve, Martinez & Neely, 2017) instruments to support co-creation and user involvement (Beutel, Jonas & Moeslein, 2017;Haukipuro, Väinämö & Hyrkäs, 2018). ...
... Along with the emerging disciplines of cryptoeconomics and forkonomy, cryptonetworks require substantial amounts of conceptual research where they could draw from multiple established fields in related domains, such as business ecosystems (Moore, 1997) open collaborative innovation (Baldwin & Hippel, 2011), living labs (Beutel, Jonas, & Möslein, 2017) and innovation ecosystems (Gassmann, Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010). ...
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=== CONTEXT === Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and smart contracts enjoy great popularity. The underlying technology, blockchain, is thought to bring about no less than a paradigm shift in how societies and economies interact. While considerable benefits are anticipated in domains such as e-payments, other domains allocate less attention to blockchain. In business studies, not enough attention is given to the claim that this phenomenon, the so-called ‘trust machine’ (Economist, 2015), may ‘kill the traditional firm’ (Mulligan, 2017). === OBJECTIVES === While information systems research unmistakably states that blockchain resonates with the foundation of organisation studies, scholars in this field have barely scratched the surface of blockchain and its implications for the field. Partly, this is due to a lack of technical understanding of the technology which draws from peer-to-peer networks, game theory and cryptography. The objectives of this thesis are to characterise the technology and discuss its implications for organisation studies. === METHOD === In order to make sense of this emerging technology, a qualitative case study approach is chosen. Eleven semi-structured in-depth interviews with a total length of 492 minutes were conducted with experts across Europe and North America, complemented by an analysis of technical documentation material. Observations from four industry conferences and several community events contributed ethnographic data. === RESULTS === Blockchain introduces novel forms of organisations that draw on the principles of crypto-economics. While today’s organisational forms decentralise competence and power to a varying degree, blockchain-enabled phenomena of organising introduce a third dimension: incentives. Based on these three dimensions, four novel organisational archetypes are proposed. Moreover, this study finds that the block-chain space is coined by two organising visions which diverge in sensemaking of the incentive-dimension. While one vision keeps power centralised to harness blockchain technology for economic reasons, the other vision decentralises power for value-based motivations, along with a new economic model for the Internet. === IMPLICATIONS === While the results of this study are subject to quantitative validation, these insights into the emerging phenomenon of blockchain bring up more questions than have been answered as part of this thesis. Is the blockchain-enabled incentive machine going to deliver on its promise of disrupting the nature of the firm? Are incumbents going to embrace this phenomenon and integrate it into existing systems and business models, or is blockchain a ‘crypto trojan horse’ (Waters, 2017) that inevitably changes the paradigm of artificial scarcity? Implications for both practitioners and scholars in organisation research are plentiful, as business studies and information systems are making sense of this emerging phenomenon.
Les Living Labs (laboratoires vivants) sont des organisations qui ont émergé depuis une dix ans et qui se définissent comme des démarches d’innovation ouverte où les usagers occupent une place centrale dans le processus de conception de produits/services. Elles se matérialisent par des lieux articulés autour de plateformes technologiques. Les Living Labs en Santé et Autonomie (LLSA) ambitionnent de trouver des solutions innovantes pour contrer la perte d’autonomie des personnes vieillissantes et les nouvelles problématiques de santé. Cette thèse vise à rendre compte du processus d’institutionnalisation de ces organisations en France à travers une étude multiscalaire. Elle est basée sur une méthodologie ethnographique qui a débouché sur la construction de trois monographies de Living Labs (Autonom’Lab, PROMETEE et le CEN STIMCO) et l’étude longitudinale d’un réseau de Living Labs (le Forum LLSA) pour comprendre les mécanismes d’institutionnalisation. Cette thèse décrit les conditions d’émergence des LLSA via un travail sociohistorique. Sont ensuite passés au crible les différents éléments qui structurent la définition de Living Lab pour établir une connaissance claire de l’objet. L’analyse insiste particulièrement sur l’implication des usagers et le rôle de la technique comme stabilisateurs organisationnels. Enfin, ce travail questionne directement le caractère innovant des Living Labs : de son intention initiale jusqu’à l’institutionnalisation des organisations et leur volonté de « faire institution ».
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A growing interest in living labs as a mechanism for innovation has drawn significant attention to both the different flavours of this methodology and to the organizations that put it into practice. However, little has been done to assess its impact and to compare its contribution to other innovation methodologies. This article aims to cover that gap by summarizing the most common European living labs approaches and positioning them in the landscape of user-contributed innovation methodology. The merits and appropriateness of living labs in these settings are also assessed.
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Next to active user involvement and a multi-method approach, a third major principle within living lab research consists of capturing the real-life context in which an innovation is used by end users. Field trials are a method to study the interaction of test users with an innovation in the context of use. However, when conducting field trials, there are several reasons why users stop participating in research activities, a phenomenon labelled as attrition. In this article, we elaborate on drop-outs during field trials by analyzing three post-trial surveys of living lab field trials. Our results show that several factors related to the innovation, as well as related to the field trial setup, play a role in attrition, including the lack of added value of the innovation and the extent to which the innovation satisfies the needs and time restrictions of test users. Based on our findings, we provide practical guidelines for managers to reduce attrition during field trials.
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The European Union has identified innovation as a key driver behind business competitive- ness and responsive governance. However, innovation in and of itself may not be sufficient to help businesses bring new products to market and to help governments shape public ser- vices that meet the real needs of citizens. The Integrating Design for All in Living Labs (IDeALL) project sought to identify and test methodologies for designing with users in real- life settings. The results of the experiments showed how different methodologies can be ap- plied in different contexts, helping to provide solutions to societal issues and to create products and services that genuinely meet user requirements. In this article, we describe the methodologies used in the IDeALL project and provide examples of the project's experi- ments and case studies across four main areas: i) services; ii) health and social care; iii) in- formation and communication technology; and iv) urban design.
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Living lab environments are often promoted as a way to engage private companies, citizens, researchers, and public organizations in mutually beneficial learning. Based on an in-depth case study of a four-year living lab collaboration in gerontechnology, we agree that successful living lab development hinges on learning between the parties, yet its emergence cannot be presumed or taken for granted. Diverse competences and interests of participating actors often make technology development projects complicated and volatile. The study describes two specific challenges faced in a living lab project: i) power issues between the actors and ii) end-user reluctance to participate in the development of new technology. Despite the hardships, we suggest that the living lab environment worked as a catalyst for learning between users and developers. Nevertheless, realizing the benefits of this learning may be more challenging than is usually expected. Learning for interaction is needed before effective learning in interaction is possible.
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This paper provides an overview of the main perspectives and themes emerging in research on open innovation (OI). The paper is the result of a collaborative process among several OI scholars – having a common basis in the recurrent Professional Development Workshop on ‘Researching Open Innovation’ at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. In this paper, we present opportunities for future research on OI, organised at different levels of analysis. We discuss some of the contingencies at these different levels, and argue that future research needs to study OI – originally an organisational-level phenomenon – across multiple levels of analysis. While our integrative framework allows comparing, contrasting and integrating various perspectives at different levels of analysis, further theorising will be needed to advance OI research. On this basis, we propose some new research categories as well as questions for future research – particularly those that span across research domains that have so far developed in isolation.
Conference Paper
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Living lab methods need to enhance reactivity to changing requirements as these appear in a project. Agile methods allow for quick reactivity, but have been cri-tiqued for not taking the end-user perspective enough into account. We describe how to blend living lab methodologies with agile methods and to this end present a Framework for Agile Living Lab projects (FALL). To make it actionable, a number of principles and actor roles are proposed.
Conference Paper
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Living labs offer a new open innovation platform for companies to engage customers in co-creation and to understand user needs. However, empirical investigation about co-creation enablers in living labs is scarce. To fill this gap, this paper analyses factors that facilitate co-creation in living labs. The study integrates findings derived from existing literature with primary data collected at a living lab called JOSEPHS as well as with companies using it. Six critical factors to facilitate co-creation in living labs are identified and discussed.
Conference Paper
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The European Network of Living Labs has been established as one platform for collaborative and co-creative innovation, where users are involved in and contribute to the innovation process. However, what are current practices regarding user-driven open innovation? A review on how existing Living Labs in Europe have implemented the user as co-creator approach across the different stages of product and service innovation showed an emphasis on the Lab part, i.e., a predominant use of traditional methods, but less so on the Living part, i.e., methods of participation and co-creation. In this article, we illustrate how current methods stressing participation and co-creation can be deployed to strengthen current Living lab practices. We conclude with a discussion on the results and challenges to practice cocreation in practice.