User innovation with people - AdobeStock

Consumer & User-centric Innovation

This thematic cluster explores how people, as consumers or users, interact with the products and services they use in their daily lives and how this shapes their thoughts, actions, and emotions. In simple terms, we focus on how people use creativity to improve their situations and lives. We aim to promote sustainable innovation practices that are ethical, environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable.

Some examples of our topic areas of interest include:

Creativity, Value & Innovation - We reflect on the ideas of creativity, value, and innovation from a broader socio-historical perspective to understand how these concepts have emerged and then become taken-for-granted features of our way of life. Creativity and value concerning innovation are both enabled and constrained by market factors - historically and culturally conditioned residues of how we find ourselves in the material world.

Consumers/Users & Digital Technology – We broaden our understanding of such issues as adoption and diffusion of innovation by embedding such practices and phenomena into ‘consumer end-users' everyday contexts. Research topics in this vein might include: digital selves, digital possessions and collecting, perceived control of digital artefacts, digital virtual practices, digital technology and desire; digital technology and value creation, and market evolution via changes in technological innovations.

Users & Value Creation – We examine the key modes of ‘value’ that consumer and user innovators appreciate; acknowledge how these modes are constituted in and through the marketplace and how such insight may be leveraged for commercial and operational ends.

Consumption Communities & Dynamics of Collective Innovation – We explore the dynamics of different types of consumption communities to discern how different kinds of social formation create value. Different collectives create value through processes of social identity, subcultural capital, taste, linking value, heterogeneity, and practice.

Selected publications