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Since the 1990s in the United States, and then since 2000 in Europe, a new form of innovation device has emerged, the living lab, an ecosystem in which end users (customers, users, patients, etc.) and other stakeholders are involved over a long period in the development of an innovation, in a real environment, using an iterative research approach combining different methods (Schuurman et al., 2012). Initially very much focused on technological innovation, then on topics such as health and smart cities, living labs are increasingly identified in relation to social innovation (Edwards-Schachter et al., 2012, Fasshauer and Zadra-Veil, 2020). Indeed, they encompass societal and technological dimensions in a business-citizen-government-academia partnership. Living labs refer to both open innovation (Chesbrough, 2003) and user-centered innovation (von Hippel, 2006). In this sense, they differ from other collaborative spaces that are not specifically dedicated to innovation, such as coworking spaces; or that do not always put the user at the heart of the process, such as fab labs, maker and hacker spaces, or the innovation labs that are developing in the administration as well as in companies. Nevertheless, the boundaries between these different spaces are sometimes porous and they all share the characteristic of being organizations that encourage value co-creation among different actors’ categories.
In their seminal article, Prahalad and Ramaswamy (2004) describe value co-creation as a joint initiative through which suppliers and recipients create value together…


Enrich the model of value co-creation processes at work in living labs, defined as engagement platforms (Leclercq et al., 2016). Their specificity is to integrate heterogeneous stakeholders in a social innovation process.
Study of four cases of living labs (triangulation of interviews, observation and documentary data).
Understanding the process of co-creating use, exchange and social values through living labs.
Unveiling the frailty of multi-stakeholder co-innovation in living labs.
Highlighting organizational conditions (governance and hybrid resources) to ensure value creation for all stakeholders, a condition for long-term commitment.
Managerial implications
Identify the organizational favorable or unfavorable conditions to value co-creation in a multi-stakeholder social innovation process.
This research highlights the importance of organizational conditions in the process of multi-stakeholder value co-creation within a type of social innovation device, the living lab.

  • social innovation
  • living lab
  • value co-creation
  • governance
  • engagement platform
Ingrid Fasshauer
Gustave Eiffel University – Laboratoire DICEN-IDF (Paris, France)
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