Title: Profitable growth through international high-technology product and market development

Authors: Sophie Veilleux; Nancy Haskell; Donald Béliveau

Addresses: Faculté des sciences de l'administration, Pavillon Palasis Prince – Université Laval, 2325, Rue de la Terrasse, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada ' Faculté des sciences de l'administration, Pavillon Palasis Prince – Université Laval, 2325, Rue de la Terrasse, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada ' Faculté des sciences de l'administration, Pavillon Palasis Prince – Université Laval, 2325, Rue de la Terrasse, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada

Abstract: This article seeks to answer the following question: how do firms adapt their technological innovations in a way that sustains profitable growth in global markets? The context examined is small and medium high-technology firms as they face the challenges of being young firms that must serve global markets with their limited resources. A multi-case exploratory study captures the product and market development processes during two phases of the growth cycle. The comparison of five start-up firms and five growth firms from Quebec City's photonics cluster (Canada) points to an error frequently made by start-up firms: spending too much time and money creating or adapting products for each initial customer. Growth firms, on the other hand, have built product platforms that respond to basic client needs. The results confirm the strategic role of mass customisation.

Keywords: technological innovation; mass customisation; MC; platform; internationalisation; growth; adaptation; product development; market development; small- and medium-size firms; product family architecture; PFA.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2018.10010377

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2018 Vol.35 No.3, pp.408 - 427

Received: 20 Feb 2017
Accepted: 20 Feb 2017

Published online: 24 Oct 2018 *

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