Title: Launching technological innovations: the relevance of a stakeholder perspective

Authors: Katrin Talke, Soren Salomo

Addresses: Department of Product Innovation Management, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Landbergstraat 15, 2628 CE Delft, The Netherlands; European Business School, Hauptstrasse 31, 65375 Oestrich-Winkel, Germany. ' DTU Executive School of Business, Technical University of Denmark, Produktionstorvet, Building 421, 2800 Lyngby, Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract: When conceptualising new product launch activities, most authors focused on activities aimed at overcoming customer resistance. As such a perspective neglects obstacles arising from the resistance of other stakeholders, this study proposes to explicitly consider stakeholder theory when developing a concept of launch activities. In addition to providing a conceptual rationale, the performance effects of such launch activities are investigated. While the direct performance effects of strategic and tactical launch activities were largely investigated in previous studies, indirect performance effects have received less attention. This study considers the interdependencies between strategic, internally and externally, directed tactical launch activities and investigates both direct and indirect performance effects. The analysis is based upon data from 113 technological innovations launched in industrial markets. The launch strategy and tactics addressing resistance of customers, market players and parties from the broader firm environment are found to have a direct impact on market success. The launch strategy also drives both internally and externally directed launch tactics. For launch tactics that address frontline personnel resistance, no direct performance effect is found. Yet these internally directed tactics enable more proficient externally directed launch tactics and drive performance indirectly.

Keywords: new product launch; diffusion theory; stakeholder theory; launch strategy; launch tactics; technological innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2009.026873

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2009 Vol.4 No.2/3, pp.248 - 274

Published online: 27 Jun 2009 *

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