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User engagement in living lab field trials

Annabel Georges (Department of communication studies, iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Dimitri Schuurman (iMinds-MICT, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium)
Bastiaan Baccarne (Department of communication studies, iMinds - MICT - Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Lynn Coorevits (Department of communication studies, iMinds-MICT-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Article publication date: 8 June 2015




The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the factors playing a role in the engagement of end-users to participate in Living Lab field trials.


Multiple case study analysis of three Living Lab cases in which field trials were organized.


Based on academic literature on field trials, user engagement and the technology acceptance model, the authors argue that several factors play a role in the participation of users in field trials. An influential factor that emerged is the functional maturity of the innovation, the extent to which a prototype resembles the functionalities and the processes of the final, go-to-market product at the moment of the field trial. Within this exploratory paper, we propose the “user engagement model for field trials” to explain the factors that play a role in the engagement of end-users in field trials.

Research limitations/implications

The methodological limitations of a case study design make it difficult to extrapolate the findings toward a larger sample. Therefore, this paper focuses on making an in-depth analysis rather than making general claims. However, the insights regarding user engagement for participation pave the way for future validation on a larger scale and suggest future research directions.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper suggest that Living Lab field trials should carefully take into account the (perceived) functional maturity of the innovation and the specific characteristics of the innovation when engaging end-users for field trials. Interaction and trust between the test-users and the other stakeholders is of great importance for the active engagement of test-users during field trials.


This exploratory paper adds to a general understanding of end-user involvement in innovation development processes and suggests guidelines to engage end-users to participate in field trials. In addition, it introduces the concept of functional maturity of innovations and the user-engagement model for field trials.



Georges, A., Schuurman, D., Baccarne, B. and Coorevits, L. (2015), "User engagement in living lab field trials", info, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 26-39.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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