Idea Management Communities in the Wild: An exploratory study of 166 online communities

Jorge Saldivar Marcos Baez Carlos Rodriguez Gregorio Convertino Grzegorz Kowalik

Idea Management (IM) communities have the potential to transform business and communities through innovation. However, building successful communities is a difficult endeavor that requires a significant amount of both community management and technological support. Doing this requires a good understanding of how IM systems are used and how users behave, as these are fundamental aspects for the design of effective technological support as well as devising community management strategies. In this paper, we study 166 IM communities in the “wild” — communities openly available on Ideascale, one of today’s leading IM software platforms— to better understand how they are used in practice, and by whom. We do this via i) a qualitative analysis of community properties to identify community archetypes; ii) a quantitative analysis of user activity logs to identify patterns of collective and individual user behavior.