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Living labs: a structured approach for implementing open and user innovation

Dimitri Schuurman (UGent) and Lieven De Marez (UGent)
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Abstract
Open and User Innovation present two ways of looking at distributed innovation processes. However, a lot of companies are still struggling with the practical implementation of distributed innovation. Living Labs are an innovation approach, advocated by the EU, that aims to provide structure to distributed innovation processes. However, this concept is much more practice driven than based on a rigid theoretical basis. Therefore, this paper presents a systematic literature review of the body of scientific Living Labs literature. Based on a general review of the Google Scholar and Web of Science databases, we can conclude that the Living Labs movement in terms of theory and research has taken off since 2006 in quantity of published papers. However, in terms of quality and impact, the academic field of Living Labs is still rather insignificant. An analysis of the 45 most cited papers reveals that the practice-based side is much further developed than the theoretical side, with only few references to more established innovation theories such as Open Innovation and User Innovation, despite the fact that concepts from both literature streams are present in all papers. Strikingly, 18 out of 45 papers refer to no framework at all, remaining merely descriptive. There is also a lack of empirical, more quantitative and comparative studies that focus on the added value of Living Labs. This paints the picture of Living Labs as a research domain in development which calls for a better anchoring within more established innovation theories in order to advance the field. Based on the observation that there are inconsistencies in terms of levels of analysis within these papers, and that these different levels correspond with Open and User Innovation concepts, we propose to distinguish three seperate, but interrelated levels. This three-layered Living Labs model illustrates that Living Labs are an emanation of both Open and User Innovation, and that these paradigms can assist in advancing the theoretical foundation of Living Labs, but that Living Labs also provide fertile playgrounds for Open and User Innovation scholars for theory testing and validation.
Keywords
Innovation Management, Distributed Innovation., Open Innovation, User Innovation, Living Labs

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MLA
Schuurman, Dimitri, and Lieven De Marez. “Living Labs: a Structured Approach for Implementing Open and User Innovation.” 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings. 2015. Print.
APA
Schuurman, D., & De Marez, L. (2015). Living labs: a structured approach for implementing open and user innovation. 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings. Presented at the 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference.
Chicago author-date
Schuurman, Dimitri, and Lieven De Marez. 2015. “Living Labs: a Structured Approach for Implementing Open and User Innovation.” In 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Schuurman, Dimitri, and Lieven De Marez. 2015. “Living Labs: a Structured Approach for Implementing Open and User Innovation.” In 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings.
Vancouver
1.
Schuurman D, De Marez L. Living labs: a structured approach for implementing open and user innovation. 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings. 2015.
IEEE
[1]
D. Schuurman and L. De Marez, “Living labs: a structured approach for implementing open and user innovation,” in 13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings, Lisbon, Portugal, 2015.
@inproceedings{6888241,
  abstract     = {Open and User Innovation present two ways of looking at distributed innovation processes. However, a lot of companies are still struggling with the practical implementation of distributed innovation. Living Labs are an innovation approach, advocated by the EU, that aims to provide structure to distributed innovation processes. However, this concept is much more practice driven than based on a rigid theoretical basis. Therefore, this paper presents a systematic literature review of the body of scientific Living Labs literature. Based on a general review of the Google Scholar and Web of Science databases, we can conclude that the Living Labs movement in terms of theory and research has taken off since 2006 in quantity of published papers. However, in terms of quality and impact, the academic field of Living Labs is still rather insignificant. An analysis of the 45 most cited papers reveals that the practice-based side is much further developed than the theoretical side, with only few references to more established innovation theories such as Open Innovation and User Innovation, despite the fact that concepts from both literature streams are present in all papers. Strikingly, 18 out of 45 papers refer to no framework at all, remaining merely descriptive. There is also a lack of empirical, more quantitative and comparative studies that focus on the added value of Living Labs. This paints the picture of Living Labs as a research domain in development which calls for a better anchoring within more established innovation theories in order to advance the field.
Based on the observation that there are inconsistencies in terms of levels of analysis within these papers, and that these different levels correspond with Open and User Innovation concepts, we propose to distinguish three seperate, but interrelated levels. This three-layered Living Labs model illustrates that Living Labs are an emanation of both Open and User Innovation, and that these paradigms can assist in advancing the theoretical foundation of Living Labs, but that Living Labs also provide fertile playgrounds for Open and User Innovation scholars for theory testing and validation.},
  author       = {Schuurman, Dimitri and De Marez, Lieven},
  booktitle    = {13th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference, Proceedings},
  keywords     = {Innovation Management,Distributed Innovation.,Open Innovation,User Innovation,Living Labs},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Lisbon, Portugal},
  pages        = {35},
  title        = {Living labs: a structured approach for implementing open and user innovation},
  year         = {2015},
}