The social identity of user innovators in the creative industries: an investigation of diffusion in the anime environment
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This Master's thesis conducts an explorative investigation into the social identities of user innovators operating within the creative industries, with a particular focus on the Anime environment. It is driven by the research question: "What are the social identities of user innovators that diffuse in the Anime environment?" Employing an inductive approach, this study uses in-depth interviews as its primary method for data collection and leverages the MEC technique, grounded theory, and the reservoir technique for a comprehensive and nuanced analysis of the gathered data. Our analysis leads to the identification of four distinct social identities of user innovators: Commercial, Communitarian, Artistic, and Communicative. Each of these identities exhibits distinct characteristics that map onto key dimensions of social identity and demonstrate a predilection for specific diffusion pathways. This research underscores the critical importance of understanding the social identities of user innovators in effectively tackling the widespread issue of diffusion failure. We outline practical strategies for industry practitioners, aiming to provide actionable insights that can encourage and facilitate the diffusion of user-driven innovations. This study marks a significant contribution to the scholarly discourse on user innovation, social identity, and diffusion processes within the landscape of creative industries.