The Impact of Social Media for Innovation

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Utilizing input from social media channels can increase innovation project performance, as firms get access to novel market insights and innovative technical solutions. This video summarizes the main points of a recent study* published in the Journal of Innovation Management by Deborah L. Roberts, Nottingham University, and Frank T. Piller and Dirk Lüttgens, RWTH Aachen University, investigating the link between social media usage and innovation performance.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that there are considerable benefits from using SM during an innovation project, but empirical evidence is scare. Using data from the PDMA Comparative Performance Assessment Study (CPAS), this study identifies factors influencing the relationship between social media and innovation performance.

The study finds that to benefit from social media for innovation, firms need to acquire new skills, procedures, and competences to interpret and evaluate the information derived from these sources. Exploring social media without having these capabilities can even reduce performance. Firms hence need to make social media part of their open innovation strategy.

* Deborah L. Roberts, Frank T. Piller, and Dirk Lüttgens. “Mapping the Impact of Social Media for Innovation: The Role of Social Media in Explaining Innovation Performance in the PDMA Comparative Performance Assessment Study.” Journal of Product Innovation Management 33.S1 (2016): 117-135. Full text via


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