From Outlaws to Trusted Partners
Flowers, Stephen (2007) From Outlaws to Trusted Partners In: IRNOP VIII Project Research Conference, 19-21 Sep 2007, Brighton, UK.
This paper will explore how the often illegal activities of some users may produce valuable innovations. The paper argues that structural changes, including a growth in the number of knowledge workers, has resulted in a burgeoning community of users able to modify or hack existing products, or develop products that compete with existing suppliers. The paper will introduce the complementary concepts of Outlaw Innovation and the Outlaw User, locating them within the literature on users. The paper will explore how firms react to this activity and provide case studies of this phenomenon. The paper will argue that Outlaw Innovation represents an extension in our understanding of the way in which firms interact with users, presents a series of policy challenges, and opens a promising area for further research.
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