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Social Media Based Value Creation in Innovation Community in Mechanical Engineering Industry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the European Conference on Social Media, ECSM 2014, University of Brighton, UK, July 10-11, 2014
EditorsAsher Rospigliosi, Sue Greener
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-1-910309-28-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Conference on Social Media -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …

Publication series

NameEuropean Conference on Social Media
ISSN (Print)2055-7213
ISSN (Electronic)2055-7221


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Social Media
Period1/01/00 → …


Social media and crowdsourcing are becoming increasingly important not only for business-to- consumer (B2C) companies, in which context they have resulted in relatively large and fast-growing research body, but increasingly also to the development of business-to-business (B2B) products and innovations. However, academic research on the use of social media and crowdsourcing for the value creation of industrial companies and their new product development is almost non- existent. Compared to B2C companies, the B2Bs are e.g. challenged with far smaller number of customers and experts that could be utilised as crowdsourcing resources in innovation. B2Bs also face for instance various IPR and information security issues regarding product related knowledge. In addition, the development of complex industrial products often require large amounts of in-depth expertise and the crowdsourcing tasks may be very challenging in comparison to the usually simple tasks related to B2C and consumer crowdsourcing. The lack of understanding of social media in B2B context results in many restrictions and doubts related to B2B crowdsourcing. Novel systematic ways of value creation are needed in regard to the new product development (NPD) of B2B companies. In order to enable the crowdsourcing companies to efficiently make use of the crowdsourced ideas and concepts, it is essential to motivate the various different outside actors to share their needed in-depth expertise. In order to find out how social media and crowdsourcing can be used to create value for the development of complex B2B product in manufacturing industry, we selected a single case study research method. The selected single case represents a unique case regarding social media and crowdsourcing use in the development of complex B2B products. The data was collected in two stages - beginning with a netnographic participant observation in an online environment and followed by a semi-structured interview complementing and confirming the preliminary analysis. The interviews were based on the previously collected data. The analysis and collection of data occurred iteratively. In order to understand the overall patterns of value exchange and the value conversion between different actors, the case study data was analysed using Allee’s Value Network Analysis method. The findings of the paper benefit manufacturing companies that are planning, designing, selecting and reviewing suitable social media based crowdsourcing communities to support their NPD. Manufacturing companies can learn from the case study and use it as a blueprint for their own crowdsourcing implementations, especially in the case of complex crowdsourcing tasks of industrial companies.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland