Title: Modularity and strategic dilemmas within an innovative industry: the functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN) case in Canada

Authors: Anne-Laure Saives

Addresses: Department of Management and Technology, School of Management Sciences, University of Quebec at Montreal, 1290 St-Denis, Montreal, Quebec, H2X 3J6, Canada

Abstract: A variety of economic factors contributes to the emergence and development of the new market for |nutraceuticals| (contraction of nutriment-and-pharmaceutical) and functional foods (food with validated effects on human physiological functions). The market for FFNs experiences a massive growth in Canada, but it is still difficult to clearly identify the participants that underlie its dynamics. The impacts that the introduction in 2003 of the new regulation have on the commercialisation of natural health products and on these dynamics remain unknown. In this paper, an analysis of two surveys of the FFNs| firm behaviour in Quebec, one conducted in 2000-2001 and the other repeated in 2004–2005 are presented. This comparative study is helpful to answer the following questions: 1) What are the changes in the composition of the strategic groups of firms in this sector in Quebec? 2) What are the characteristics of the dilemmas that these groups appeared to have experienced with the introduction of a new regulatory framework? The results suggest that firms may be taking advantage of technological modularity in the innovation process to evolve in a complex business environment.

Keywords: strategic dilemma; open innovation; emerging sectors; technological modularity; strategic groups; product platforms; hybrid business models; flexibility; coordination; functional food; nutraceuticals; FFNs; Canada; commercialisation; natural health products; regulatory frameworks; regulation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2009.025676

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2009 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.323 - 341

Published online: 23 May 2009 *

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