Int. J. of Economics and Business Research   »   2017 Vol.14, No.1



Title: Strategies of innovation in an ancient business: cases of the fountain pen industry


Authors: Marcos Ferasso; Ivan Antonio Pinheiro; Christine Da Silva Schröeder


Federal University of Parana, Av. Lothário Meissner, 632, Jd. Botânico, Curitiba – PR, 80210-170, Brazil
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, R. Washington Luiz, 855, Centro Histórico, Porto Alegre – RS, 90010-460, Brazil
Federal University of Health Sciences of Porto Alegre, R. Sarmento Leite, 245, Porto Alegre – RS, 90050-170, Brazil


Abstract: The introduction of the ballpoint pen and its consequent change in the prevalent fountain pen industry is presented as an empirical evidence of Christensen's disruptive technology theory. This research paper analyses the different innovation strategies adopted by the fountain pen industry to survive to the attack of ballpoint pen spread. To meet this objective, case studies of Waterman, Montblanc and Parker companies are discussed. The data, collected from secondary sources, indicate that the fountain pen industry had a great reduction in their sales and later stabilised at a lower level by stressing their positioning at the luxury goods market, but also adopting and transforming the new ballpoint technology. The analysis of this case leads to the conclusion that the ballpoint pen is truly a good example of Christensen's disruptive technology because it contains all of Schumpeter's types of innovation.


Keywords: strategies of innovation; management of technology; ancient business; fountain pen industry; luxury goods market; Parker Pen Co.; Waterman Pen Co.; Montblanc Pen Co.


DOI: 10.1504/IJEBR.2017.10006205


Int. J. of Economics and Business Research, 2017 Vol.14, No.1, pp.73 - 84


Submission date: 08 May 2016
Date of acceptance: 01 Dec 2016
Available online: 29 Jul 2017



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