Online Intermediaries and Service Co-creation Capabilities: An Exploratory Case Study of Client Organizations for Open Innovation
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Using an exploratory case study, we investigate the capabilities intermediaries deploy when engaging with client organizations to facilitate open innovation (OI) via online communities. A core contribution of our study is a theoretical framework of the capability portfolio of intermediaries, enabling clients to overcome barriers to online community-based OI. Results reveal that OI intermediaries deploy technological and marketing capabilities to help clients deal with project teamlevel and organizational-level challenges, respectively. Further, co-creation capabilities play an even more critical role by acting as a higher-order capability comprising a portfolio of product- and market-oriented service capabilities, which further reinforce the intermediaries’ technological and marketing capabilities. Co-creation capabilities are thus central to implementing client-centric services through which intermediaries can more effectively co-develop both the product and market for online community engagement, thereby playing a complementary role in helping clients overcome the identified project-level and organizational barriers. These insights are useful for managers of intermediaries in developing and deploying capabilities to build client capacity in community-based OI.
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