Patterns of User Innovation: Using Pattern Language for Managerial Knowledge Management


Patterns can help us adapt faster to shifting environmental conditions, by acknowledging similarities with previously encountered problems, and identifying key characteristics in solutions that succeeded in the past. By a methodical deconstruction of tacit knowledge, patterns can express both internalized information about a past challenge, and intuition about the critical aspects of the proper response in an explicit format that can be studied, perfected, taught and applied to new, unfamiliar situations. Currently in managerial practices, despite rapidly changing business conditions, personal experience and industrial know-how gathered during years of active employment are still indispensable skills for sound decision making. This makes the capacity for agile, innovative responses to market demands a rare commodity, and a valuable source of competitive advantage. As a practical method to remedy the situation, user innovation methods, which allow consumers to participate in innovation procedures at different times and in varying intensity offer a fast, accurate source of information and sometimes even new design ideas. This paper attempts to express six methods in user innovation as patterns, with the intention to 1) widen the scope of their use by generalizing the selected methods and to 2) participate in the formation of a complete, comprehensive pattern language for managerial sciences, which could eliminate some of the inertia inherent due to the schism between veterans in strategic decision making and newcomers with creative input.

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