Organizational Challenges of Online Customer Co-Creation for Innovation: A Middle-Managers’ Perspective in the Italian Food Context
- Carla Rossi
In a nutshell, co-creation is described as a way to open up a company to the outside world, helping to generate product innovations and to update brand meanings. Drawing on the online community and co-creation literature, this paper aims at contributing to exploring the main intra-organizational challenges of online customer co-creation for innovation, from the viewpoint of middle managers. The intent is to broaden the existing conceptual understanding of the main internal factors hindering customer co-creation but also of the practices that could be adopted to best manage the related challenges.
The study adopts a qualitative approach and is based on the results of eight in-depth, semi-structured interviews with digital and marketing managers, working closely with co-creation initiatives in the Italian food industry, with the aim of exploring intra-organizational challenges perceived by those who are directly involved in co-creation implementation.
The results complement existing literature by 1) offering a more longitudinal vision of the implementation process—and the related internal hurdles, 2) identifying the most appropriate coping strategies and 3) formulating some hypothesis that could support an interpretative model of the capabilities needed to start the process and managing it in a strategic perspective.
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