How can entrepreneurs benefit from user knowledge to create innovation in the digital services sector?

Stephen Flowers, Martin Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The paper focuses attention on the value of user knowledge to entrepreneurs and addresses an important gap in current literature concerning entrepreneurial activity, user knowledge and innovation in digital services. Drawing on the entrepreneurship and innovation literatures, the paper highlights the challenges posed by the application of user knowledge to digital services and outlines a novel unit of analysis for the examination of entrepreneurial activity. The Innovation Opportunity Space framework is introduced and applied to the analysis of giffgaff, a UK-based mobile telephony supplier. This case is employed in order to explore the boundaries of the current understanding of entrepreneurial knowledge networks, user knowledge and innovation. The theoretical contribution of the paper proposes a reappraisal of the notion of spillovers, user knowledge and firm boundaries in the digital services sector. The paper concludes by outlining directions for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date3 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Feb 2020



  • Knowledge
  • Users
  • Entrepreneurial networks

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