Social Media and Innovation

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Social Media and Innovation Literature Review
Tyler Oliver
ADV 892 Social Media Marketing
Michigan State University
February 2013

Methodology
The purpose of this literature review is to explore recorded literature and evidence relating to social media and innovation. The research method for the review consisted of by surveying a total of 20 articles; 15 journal and conference-proceeding works, and five practitioner articles centered on the topic in different contexts. A selection of trusted databases were accessed through MSU Libraries Electronic Resources in the search to find articles, include the ACM Digital Library, the IEEE IET Electronic library, Proquest and Google. All of the studied literature exists between the years of 2010 and 2012. Table 2 (p. 10) reflects the articles that were used in this review, listing the author and title of the work, the implication of the study, and any limitations of the study noted.

Different combinations of keywords were used to extract literature related to the topic, for example: social media and innovation, social product innovation, and web 2.0 and innovation, and many other configurations. The executive summaries and abstracts of the articles included were briefed to ensure relevancy, and later the articles themselves were reviewed in entirety. To make the task of reviewing the bulk of literature streamlined, and manageable key points were recorded for each article. The notes contain the main takeaways for the articles: the authors’ purpose of the research or studies conducted, the main points, and claims most relevant to the general subject, the key findings, or results of the studies conducted, the challenges faced (regarding the specific research/studies themselves, and those relating to the broader topic) and lastly, the recommendations offered, if any, including those applying to future research in the area of the study, or those involving the companies and entities covered in the research. A table compiling all of this important information will be provided for quick comparison of the different contexts that social media and innovation were applied to.

The research yielded a variety of perspectives regarding established literature and research in the area of social media and innovation, in addition to the real-world application of various social media and innovation models and evaluation of their performance. This literature review will explore the perspectives, claims and findings of the articles included highlighting similarities and contrasts to discuss gaps and overlaps. Recommendations for future research in the area will be provided in the conclusion. Introduction

The term social media most commonly falls under the guise of the some of the most popular social networking websites to date, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Linked In. Truthfully, the phenomenon that is social media involves more than just photo sharing and status updates. Social media networks are powerful tools when used for knowledge creation and shared creativity. A more contemporary field of study, social media and innovation tends to branch off into other areas like crowdsourcing, and open innovation. These platforms enable virtual communities, or groups of people using social technologies for collaboration efforts, of all kinds to execute tasks, solve problems, express ideas, and function in a group environment. To date, collaborative thinking has been proven to aid in the innovation process. The central idea is that groups of users possess crowd-wisdom (sometimes referred to as “the wisdom of the crowd”). It is a term describing the relative expertise or potential of knowledge available from a crowd of people as opposed to restricted internal “experts.” In, “Rising Creativity and Participation in Innovation and Knowledge Management Activities,” Gourova & Toteva describe the effect that involving the “crowd” has had on product development specifically in the business...
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