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How social media can fuel innovation in businesses: a strategic roadmap

Pierre-Jean Barlatier (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg)
Anne-Laure Mention (RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 7 March 2019

Issue publication date: 6 April 2020



This paper aims to present a framework to guide managerial action for social media (SM) strategies for innovation by exploring its constituent elements – the “what” (SM types), the “who” (stakeholders to be reached), the “for” (innovation types) and the “how” (innovation process stages), as well as the value, benefits and barriers.


A comprehensive and critical review of literature at the intersection of SM and innovation guides the development of a typology of SM types and their use across innovation types and stages.


SM type and use tend to differ across innovation processes. The authors identify four types of SM in use across four stages of innovation, supporting six types of innovation, influenced by five categories of barriers, benefits and stakeholders each.

Research limitations/implications

The research provides an integrative set of building blocks to consider for developing further studies of SM and innovation.

Practical implications

By highlighting the intertwined aspects of SM and innovation in an open and collaborative environment, the paper calls for development of an SM readiness organisational diagnosis. It empowers managers with a coherent framework of different elements they should take into consideration when defining their SM strategies for innovation.


Research on SM adoption and the extent of its usage for innovation purposes is still at its infancy. Given the increasingly open and collaborative innovation settings, the authors draw managerial attention to the need of SM strategies for innovation activities and provide a coherent analytical framework to guide action for organisational diagnosis.



Barlatier, P.-J. and Mention, A.-L. (2020), "How social media can fuel innovation in businesses: a strategic roadmap", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 11-18.



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