February 2017 Download this article as a PDF

From the Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to the February issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review – the second of two issues on the theme of Innovation in Living Labs. It is my pleasure to introduce our guest editors: Seppo Leminen (Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Aalto University, Finland, as well as Carleton University, Canada), Mika Westerlund (Carleton University), Dimitri Schuurman (imec and Ghent University, Belgium), and Pieter Ballon (VUB, Belgium).

For future issues, we welcome your submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and growing technology companies and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us with potential article topics and submissions.

Chris McPhee


From the Guest Editors

We are delighted to introduce the second of two special issues on the theme of Innovation in Living Labs. The February issue is the seventh in the series of special issues of the Technology Innovation Management Review focusing on living labs (McPhee et al., 2012; McPhee et al., 2013a,b; McPhee et al., 2015; McPhee et al., 2016; McPhee et al., 2017).

As with the January issue, most of the articles in this issue were carefully selected and revised from papers at the OpenLivingLab Days 2016, held from August 23 to 26 in Montreal, Canada. Accordingly, we would like to invite you to the OpenLivingLab Days 2017 to be held in Krakow, Poland on August 29 through September 1, 2017. The conference will feature designated living lab tracks and workshops by the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), and it gathers numerous living lab practitioners and scholars worldwide.

As the field advances, there is greater and greater diversity in topics covered and approaches taken in living labs practice as well as research (cf. Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2015; Brankaert et al., 2015; Dell’Era & Landoni, 2014; Dutilleul et al., 2010; Edvardsson et al., 2012; Femeniás &, Hagbert, 2013; Guimont & Lapointe, 2016; Hakkarainen & Hyysalo, 2016; Leminen, 2015; Leminen et al., 2012, 2015, 2016; Nyström et al., 2014; Rits et al., 2015; Schuurman et al., 2016; Ståhlbröst & Lassinantti, 2015; Veeckman et al., 2013; Westerlund & Leminen, 2011). The early living lab literature not only focuses on explaining innovation and development activities with users in different contexts but also offers a broad variety of definitions. The recent literature reveals methods and conceptualizations for the benefit of managers and researchers. Moreover, Leminen (2015) and Leminen and Westerlund (2016) categorize prior studies to diverse research avenues based on an extensive literature review. Following this categorization, the present special issue focuses on revealing methods, methodologies, and approaches in living labs.

The first article, by Sonja Pedell, Alen Keirnan, Gareth Priday, Tim Miller, Antonette Mendoza, Antonio Lopez-Lorca, and Leon Sterling from Melbourne, Australia, focuses on methods to support the elicitation of emotions. The study is based on qualitative research and design methods including interviews, animations, and storyboards. So doing, it contributes to the living lab literature by demonstrating how emotion-led methods and goal models can be used at various stages of the living lab process.

The second article, by Ruben D’Hauwers, Aron-Levi Herregodts, Annabel Georges, Lynn Coorevits, Dimitri Schuurman, Olivier Rits, and Pieter Ballon from imec, VUB, and Ghent University, Belgium, examines business-to-business living lab projects. The authors use an action research approach to study eight living lab cases in Belgium. Their study identifies three main barriers that prevent real-life experimentation in business-to-business living lab projects. The authors emphasize the need for providing guidelines for real-life testing and panel management in a business-to-business context.

The third article, by Anna Ståhlbröst and Marita Holst from Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, reflects on a development method to stimulate learning and adoption of digital innovations. The article is based on a research project financed by the European Commission and proposes that end users are able to change their energy consumption behaviour based on the results of living lab activities. The article concludes by proposing that complexity may lead to processes that are difficult to predict in advance.

In the fourth article, Sara Logghe and Dimitri Schuurman from imec and Ghent University, Belgium, illuminate an action research approach to capture delights and frustrations of panel members in living labs. The article is designed on a qualitative research approach including three living lab projects in Belgium. It contributes to the literature by recommending that living lab operations benefit from a combined action research and living lab approach, including active involvement of panel members themselves.

Finally, in the fifth article, Louise Savelkoul and Murk Peutz from Equator Research in the Netherlands examine the structured needsfinding phase of a living lab infrastructure project. The data were collected through a questionnaire to measure bicycle commuting intention. The results of the research lead to practical guidelines when developing fast cycling routes.

It is evident that the articles in this special issue illustrate that living labs are a blossoming research domain. We hope that you enjoy the issue and consider utilizing the potential and opportunities of living labs in your organization. Finally, we encourage living lab researchers as well as other innovation scholars to take further research actions into the different aspects of living labs.

Seppo Leminen, Mika Westerlund, Dimitri Schuurman, and Pieter Ballon
Guest Editors



Bergvall-Kåreborn, B., Ihlström Eriksson, C., & Ståhlbröst, A. 2015. Places and Spaces within Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(12): 37–47.

Brankaert, R., den Ouden, E. & Brombacher, A. 2015. Innovate Dementia: The Development of a Living Lab Protocol to Evaluate Interventions in Context. Info, 17(4): 40–52.

Dell´Era, C., & Landoni, P. 2014. Living Lab: A Methodology between User-Centred Design and Participatory Design. Creativity and Innovation Management, 23(2): 137–154.

Dutilleul, B., Birrer, F. A. J., & Mensink, W. 2010. Unpacking European Living Labs: Analysing Innovation’s Social Dimensions. Central European Journal of Public Policy, 4(1): 60–85.

Edvardsson, B. Kristensson, P., Magnusson, P., & Sundström, E. 2012. Customer Integration within Service Development – A Review of Methods and an Analysis of Insitu and Exsitu Contributions. Technovation, 32(7-8): 419–429.

Femenías, P., & Hagbert, P. 2013. The Habitation Lab: Using a Design Approach to Foster Innovation for Sustainable Living. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(11): 15–21.

Guimont, D., & Lapointe, D. 2016. Empowering Local Tourism Providers to Innovate through a Living Lab Process: Does Scale Matter? Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(11): 18–25.

Hakkarainen, L., & Hyysalo, S. 2016. The Evolution of Intermediary Activities: Broadening the Concept of Facilitation in Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(1): 45–58.

Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2016. A Framework for Understanding the Different Research Avenues of Living Labs. International Journal of Technology Marketing, 11(4): 399–420.

Leminen, S., Westerlund, M., & Nyström, A. - G. 2012. Living Labs as Open-Innovation Networks. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(9): 6-11.

Leminen, S., Nyström, A.-G., & Westerlund, M. 2015. A Typology of Creative Consumers in Living Labs. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 37: 6–20.

Leminen, S., Westerlund, M., Nyström, A.-G., & Kortelainen, M. 2016. The Effect of Network Structure on Radical Innovation in Living Labs. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 31(6): 743–757.

Leminen, S. 2015. Living Labs as Open Innovation Networks – Networks, Roles and Innovation Outcomes. Doctoral dissertation. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto University

McPhee, C., Westerlund, M., & Leminen, S. 2012. Editorial: Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(9): 3–5.

McPhee, C., Leminen, S. & Westerlund, M. 2013a. Editorial: Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(11): 3–4.

McPhee, C., Westerlund, M. & Leminen, S. 2013b. Editorial: Living Labs and Crowdsourcing. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(12): 3–5.

McPhee, C., Leminen, S., Schuurman, D., Westerlund, M., & Huizingh, E. 2015. Editorial: Living Labs and User Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(12): 3–5.

McPhee, C., Leminen, S., Schuurman, D., Westerlund, M., & Huizingh, E. 2016. Editorial: Living Labs and User Innovation. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(1): 3–6.

McPhee, C., Schuurman, D., Ballon, P., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2017. Editorial: Innovation in Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 7(1): 3–6.

Nyström, A.-G., Leminen, S., Westerlund, M., & Kortelainen, M. 2014. Actor Roles and Role Patterns Influencing Innovation in Living Labs. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(3): 483–495.

Rits, O., Schuurman, D., & Ballon, P. 2015. Exploring the Benefits of Integrating Business Model Research within Living Lab Projects. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(12): 19–27.

Schuurman, D., De Marez, L., & Ballon, P. 2016. The Impact of Living Lab Methodology on Open Innovation Contributions and Outcomes. Technology Innovation Management Review, 6(1): 7–16.

Ståhlbröst, A., & Lassinantti, J. 2015. Leveraging Living Lab Innovation Processes through Crowdsourcing. Technology Innovation Management Review, 5(12): 28–36.

Veeckman, C., Schuurman, D., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. 2013. Linking Living Lab Characteristics and Their Outcomes: Towards a Conceptual Framework. Technology Innovation Management Review, 3(12): 6–15.

Westerlund, M., & Leminen, S. 2011. Managing the Challenges of Becoming an Open Innovation Company: Experiences from Living Labs. Technology Innovation Management Review, 1(1): 19–25.

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Keywords: action research, business-to-business, emotions, innovation, living labs, needsfinding, operations, reflection