We examine the implications of virtual customer environments for supporting the innovation process. By building on the literature of knowledge brokers, we introduce the concept of virtual knowledge brokers - actors who leverage the internet to support third parties' innovation activities. These actors enable firms to extend their reach in engaging with customers and they also allow firms to have a richer dialogue with customers because of their perceived neutrality. Consequently, virtual knowledge brokers help firms to complement the knowledge they can acquire through traditional physical and virtual channels for customer interaction. We highlight the capabilities and contributions of virtual knowledge brokers, and we discuss the implications of these entities for theory and practice in the management of innovation.
- Knowledge brokers
- Virtual environments
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Management of Technology and Innovation