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Consumer Involvement In New Product Development: A Case Study From The Online Virtual Community

Xuemei Xie, Y. Jia
Published 2016 · Business

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In current dynamic networking era, firms face more pressure, such as increasing market competition, the shortening product development cycle, and consumers’ diverse needs. In the social media context, the emergence of online community provides a platform for consumer involvement in firms’ new product development (NPD). Accordingly, working with consumers via online community has become increasingly important to the development of new products and the improvement of firms’ innovativeness. This paper aims to explore the motivations for consumer involvement in firms’ NPD via online community and to examine the relationships between different combinations of motivations and NPD using the method of fuzzy set quality comparative analysis (fsQCA). The motivations for consumer involvement in firms’ NPD identified by the grounded theory method are as follows: (1) consumers’ needs, (2) compensation, (3) personal interest, (4) an open and flexible online community network, and (5) firms’ trustworthiness. In this study, the authors collect data through the MIUI community (the online community network of Xiaomi, a high-tech company). The findings reveal a close link between the NPD performance of firms and the motivations for consumer involvement. The findings also have implications for practitioners concerned with the management of consumer resources.
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