DIVERSITY AND CHANGE OF USER DRIVEN INNOVATION MODES IN COMPANIES
User driven innovation (UDI) is a popular term in policy and corporate circles. However, it is not clear exactly what UDI means and how such practices are used across the spectrum of companies and over the innovation life cycle. The present study compares 58 UDI showcases in Finnish companies in order to analyse the diversity of UDI practices and their evolution over time. We identify five main modes of UDI and show how the ways of using UDI develop over time in individual companies. In almost half of the examined cases, the dominant mode of UDI changes at least once, and in some cases, up to three changes in dominant mode are observed. We then proceed to identify six qualitatively different ways in which companies’ orientation to UDI evolves over time. The study has implications for innovation management and policy: It calls for greater attention to UDI diversity and particularly to the management and support of the continuity of UDI efforts.