Democracy and User Community Collaboration in Innovation: A Value Creation Paradigm in an Extended Enterprise

Hart O. Awa, Sunday C. Eze


This paper attempts to align inflexible modes of production to complex and fragmented markets in an attempt to build communitarian dimension, enthrone S-D logic of marketing and/or shift market hegemony to consumers. Taking interdisciplinary approach, including review of neo-Marxist economics, Fordism and post-Fordism, Foucault’s notion of government, and post-Maussian socio-economic theories, the paper proposed an indiscriminate conceptual framework of user community collaboration that suggests political form of power involving behavioural change that emphasizes effective mobilization of consumer labour and flattened organizational structures, especially with the diffusion of Web-based collaboration. Further, IT makes the World Flat and its use to extract economic values from users’ creativity provides unparalleled democracy, self-fulfilment, and cost-effectiveness. The paper argued that to a large extent, co-creationist capitalism is an instrument of customer empowerment and corporate power of building competitive advantage in an environment where market power resides in immaterial and symbolic labour. Therefore, while the extant theories fail to empower consumers, the paper concludes that the neo-capitalism suggests that socio-cultural and affective values provide key success factor (KSF) in value proposition and value creation when extended enterprise is built. The paper advised management to restructure its idiosyncrasy in the light of competitive demands and other states of nature to create enabling environment that frees consumer labour.Key word: Democracy; value co-creation; user community; innovation; extended enterprise and technology

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