Social media use in digital product development : Opportunities and challenges of IT-enabled co-creation in the video game industry
Information Technology (IT) enables organizations to involve consumers as co-creators of new products. By facilitating increased interaction between consumers and developers. IT allows consumers to influence and tailor product designs, but also allows developers to make use of distant knowledge to enhance and extend their product offerings and marketing. However, while much is said about the promises of IT-enabled co-creation, little is known of the strategic challenges associated with such IT use. To address this gap, we drew on IT literature to conduct a qualitative case study of IT-enabled co-creation in four video game development firms. In particular, we tried to understand how IT is affecting relationships between consumers and developers and when and why IT can be strategically used to enable co-creating coalitions in development processes. In so doing, it became clear that the promises of IT-enabled co-creation are associated with key strategic challenges. In particular, we identify three challenges that organizations must address in order to harness the strategic value of IT-enabled co-creation: the silent majority, quality assurance and managing expectations. We conclude this paper by discussing the future of IT and digital product development as well as implications for research and practice.
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