Chapter 2: Bricolage as a Way to Make Use of Input from Users
Lars Fuglsang This chapter draws on Levi-Strauss’ concept of ‘bricolage’ to explain how user-based service innovation can take place by small steps (LéviStrauss, 1966; see also Hatton, 1989; Garud and Karnoe, 2003; Baker and Nelson, 2005; Campbell, 1997; Campbell, 2002; Duymedjian and Ruling, 2010). The chapter first explains the concept of bricolage and how it can be applied to understanding innovation as incremental, stepwise, processes. It then uses the concept of bricolage to explain three cases in which companies have tried to make use of inputs from users in the companies’ development of new goods and services. Finally, it tries to develop the concept of bricolage by discussing how bricolage (compared to a more scientific or systematic approach) can be both a limitation on firm growth and a very concrete and efficient way to make use of limited and heterogeneous resources. 1 BACKGROUND Development and innovation are central to many organizations. However, innovation is not a very precise concept. It covers many types of activities, including R&D, improvements on the shop floor or changes made in the user encounter. The concept of innovation is also used to describe four separate activities: creativity, development, distribution/dissemination and the implementation of new inventions and ideas. The term becomes even more complicated when it is extended by introducing concepts like user-driven innovation, lead user innovation, employee-driven innovation, service innovation, public innovation and so on. Innovation can be defined as making practical use of creative ideas in a commercial and/or social context. This...
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