City Research Online

Is the game worth the candle?: Knowledge access requirements in environments dominated by lead users

Richardson, S. A. (2006). Is the game worth the candle?: Knowledge access requirements in environments dominated by lead users. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Using the context of the under-researched games software industry, I make the case for lead users as an important source of external knowledge, whose interests contain important guideposts for producer performance. This thesis develops our theoretical understanding of the factors that cause lead users to be interested in individual products, which I argue significantly involve identity considerations that directly concern the product and indirectly concern the creator(s) of products; and also enriches our appreciation of the pitfalls of producers ascribing importance to lead users, which has been an under-researched area of academic inquiry. I balance my study by empirically examining opposing views to ascribing importance to lead users and make the case that the exploration-exploitation construct (March, 1991) allows us to sensibly make the distinction along the lines of a firm’s innovation strategy, as to which to adopt. At the basis of my empirical work is extensive data collection from the games software industry, resulting in an original dataset and information pertaining to 120 games, 6 years of data (1998- 2003), an extensive social network analysis of greater than 4500 nodes, personal interviews with managers who represent over 40 firms, and notes from product development team members pertaining to the development of 83 games. Three case studies of unusual games are also examined to add richer insights into these questions. The conclusions draw important messages for both executives in industry and academic researchers.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Departments: Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Bayes Business School > Management
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Richardson thesis 2006 PDF-A.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (9MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login