Innovation and virtual environments: Towards virtual knowledge brokers

Gianmario Verona*, Emanuela Prandelli, Mohanbir Sawhney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-788
Number of pages24
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Customers
  • Innovation
  • Knowledge brokers
  • Networks
  • Virtual environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Innovation and virtual environments: Towards virtual knowledge brokers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this