Innovating for Trust
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Innovating for Trust

Edited by Marika Lüders, Tor W. Andreassen, Simon Clatworthy and Tore Hillestad

This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach to innovation, and argues that because innovation is always risky business, trust is an essential premise and outcome of successfully designing, developing and finally launching innovations. Each part of the book encompasses a different aspect of innovating for trust. It begins with the notion of trust, before covering the importance of trust in future thinking, business model innovation, service design, co-creation, the innovative organization and self-service technologies. It concludes with the importance of trust in commercializing innovations.
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Chapter 17: Crowdsourcing for innovation: companies as trustees

Marika Lüders


The use of websites for crowdsourcing user input for service innovation purposes has become popular. Customers and other stakeholders are invited to propose, comment on and vote for suggestions and ideas for product and service innovations. Catchphrases such as ‘the smartest people do not work for you’ and ‘the wisdom of crowds’ epitomize the ambition, yet companies might find it surprisingly difficult to manage and convert heterogeneous insights from the crowd into actual innovations. The chapter examines the experiences of two companies: an IT company using a company-internal website for gathering and elaborating ideas from their 10 000 employees, and a bank with four years of experience with an ideation website for engaging its customers in contributing ideas for service innovation. Findings suggest that companies experience trust-related issues because of the expectations raised by inviting an extended network of people into innovation work. The companies as trustees need to ensure they can be trusted by following up on contributions, or else the innovation websites become empty tokens of employee and customer involvement and empowerment.

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