Communities of practice as collective lead users

  • Hans KollerEmail author
  • Benjamin Schulte
  • Florian Andresen
  • André Kreuzmann


In today´s world of rapid technological changes and high-velocity markets, one of the central challenges many organizations face is to create truly novel products and services that can secure sustainable competitive advantage. While most organizations are quite capable of improving their products and services, they often lack the ability to break from their own treaded pathways. In this article, we elaborate on the collective side of lead users. We argue that intra-firm communities of practice as social entities can display similar lead user characteristics although no single individual member possess all criteria commonly associated with lead-userness. We ground our arguments predominantly in conceptual deliberations based on the conjunction of the concepts of lead users and communities of practice. However, as we have studied these communities of practice in the German Federal Armed Forces (an end-user-organization in the public sector), we are providing first evidence from different case studies supporting our concept of collective lead users.


Lead Users Communities of Practice Collective Lead Users End-User-organization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Koller
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benjamin Schulte
    • 1
  • Florian Andresen
    • 1
  • André Kreuzmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Technologie- und InnovationsmanagementHelmut-Schmidt-Universität HamburgHamburgGermany

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