While companies increasingly consider their customers as important sources of ideas and innovation, there is a lack of systematic approach towards designing such innovation communities. Research conducted by Michael Huber and his colleagues at TUM within the scope of the CVLBA project propose that a theory-driven pattern-based approach, named as the “Thinklet Approach” can be used to systematically design virtual innovation communities. They define Thinklets as “the smallest unit of intellectual capital required to create one repeatable, predictable pattern of thinking among people working toward a goal”.
For more information on their research, refer to the following article published by them:
Huber, Michael und Leimeister, Jan Marco und Krcmar, Helmut (2009): “Towards a pattern based approach for designing virtual communities for innovations.” In: Workshop-Proceedings der Tagung Mensch & Computer 2009: Grenzenlos frei!?, Berlin, S. 42-47.