International Journal of Technology Management (8 papers in press)
Exploring the Effectiveness of Pursuing Competing Technologies in Parallel Projects during Predevelopment
by Ties Van Bommel, Edwin J. Nijssen, Ronald J. Mahieu
Abstract: Prior research has studied the effectiveness of parallel projects in the research and development stages. However, it has ignored predevelopment, which R&D intensive firms generally distinguish as a separate stage lodged between research and development. Predevelopment focuses on activities and decisions to select, from a subset of related technologies, the best option for a product application. Parallel projects are often a means of speeding up this process by actively pursuing learning spillovers. This paper develops assumptions about learning potential and then uses a real option model to test the trade-off between the higher costs and benefits of this parallel project approach. We compare outcomes for predevelopment using the same approach under research and development conditions, respectively. The results reveal that, when moving from research to development, the effectiveness of pursuing competing technologies in parallel projects first increases and then decreases, with a maximum positive result in predevelopment. The results also show that learning spillovers can compensate for the higher investment costs. Data from an empirical case support our findings.
Keywords: competing technologies; interproject learning; parallel development; predevelopment; real options.
Structural Characteristics of Extended Alliance Portfolio Configuration and Firm Innovation
by Hosung Kim
Abstract: So far, the scope of alliance portfolio configuration (APC) studies has included only one degree, namely direct alliances or partners of a focal firm. Based on the sociological concept of Three Degrees of Influence Rule, this study extends the scope of the APC of a focal firm to three degrees, and two structural variables (clustering coefficient and the average distance from a focal firm) are extracted from the extended APCs of 31 Korean bio-pharmaceutical firms. Then, the effects of these variables on firm innovation performance are analyzed using the two-step generalized method of moments (GMM) estimates. The results show that the more clustered the extended APCs are, and the closer their average distance from a focal firm, the more favorable the innovation performance of the firms. Additionally, the average distance was found to moderate the clustering effect in the extended APC. Attempting to interpret the APC with such an expanded concept is expected to accelerate further research in the future.
Keywords: extended alliance portfolio configuration (APC); clustering coefficient; average distance; two-step generalized method of moments (GMM).
Management of Industry 4.0 Reviewing intrinsic and extrinsic adoption drivers and barriers
by Jun-Jun Obiso, Celbert Himang, Lanndon Ocampo, Miriam Bongo, Shirley Ann Caballes, Dharyll Prince Abellana, Custer Deocaris, Roberto Padua
Abstract: The adoption of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) being a global technology advancement have challenged the adoption decision of stakeholders due to inadequate management strategies provided in the current literature. As a result, there exists a disparity of perception among organizations of whether or not the adoption of I4.0 should be pursued. As a part of this management strategy, this paper attempts to review drivers and barriers and characterize each as being intrinsic or extrinsic. Furthermore, these drivers and barriers are categorized according to technological, economic and regulatory, and social factors. As such, the nature of management strategy can be well-established to aid stakeholders in developing appropriate I4.0 programs and initiatives.
Keywords: Industry 4.0; drivers; barriers; intrinsic; extrinsic; literature review.
Commonality opportunity search in industrial product portfolios
by Jakub Kwapisz, Bruce Cameron, Virginia Infante
Abstract: Development of product platforms, modules and common components is recognized in both industry and academia as a means of meeting changing customer needs within reasonable cost and time parameters. Identifying candidate parts to make common across different product portfolios is a complex task. This paper investigates current issues of product platform and modularity development, and focuses on searching for commonality opportunities. The concept of a Commonality Opportunity Search Algorithm (COSA) is introduced as a methodology to quickly identify cost efficient commonality opportunities. COSA streamlines the process of searching thousands of parts in company databases to determine common bases and individual parts differentiation based on available data. The analysed data was collected from numerous departments, which allows for nominating commonality opportunities based on global company strategy rather than on the needs of any individual department. An industrial example is presented to illustrate the feasibility and potential of the proposed methodology.
Keywords: commonality; product platform; modularity; product portfolio; component sharing; part reuse; search algorithm; product development; variety management; duplicate detection; industrial database analysis; management of knowledge; component innovation; design strategy.
Establishing relationships with distant suppliers to explore discontinuous innovation
by Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini
Abstract: A controversy exists in the literature regarding the type of suppliers to consider when leveraging external knowledge for exploring discontinuous innovation (DI): familiar suppliers or distant ones. We argue that firms pursuing DI should establish relationships with distant suppliers along cognitive and relational dimensions and that this requires a specific process. Based on a longitudinal study of a firm that developed such relationships and succeeded in exploring DI, we find that firms can develop such relationships through an approach with three main characteristics: (i) a documented mapping coupling identified DI concepts and their underlying technologies with potential suppliers who master and can provide such technologies, (ii) a structured and transparent process supporting mutual and progressive commitment, and (iii) a specific dedicated entity, separate from the rest of the firm, but at the same time connected to the experts who master the internal knowledge to be combined with the leveraged external knowledge as well as the top managers who will make the decisions regarding further development of the explored opportunities for DI. Simultaneous cooperation with both distant and familiar suppliers enables firms to achieve ambidextrous sourcing and pursue both incremental innovation and DI.
Keywords: Discontinuous innovation; early supplier involvement; distant search; open innovation; exploration; ambidextrous organization.
The Role of Frugal Innovation in the Global Diffusion of Green Technologies
by Carsten Gandenberger, Henning Kroll, Rainer Walz
Abstract: The paper suggests that the debate on sustainable development and sustainable innovation could profit from the concept of frugal innovation, because both concepts acknowledge the limitations of a resource-constrained world. The complex relationship between frugal innovation and sustainable innovation is explored in conceptual terms and results in criteria which denote potential overlaps between both concepts. Furthermore, the paper analyses world trade data of green technologies to demonstrate the increasing relevance of South-South and North-South trade and to derive implications for frugal innovation. Moreover, case studies of frugal and sustainable innovations are analysed in order to highlight their requirements and implications. Maybe the most important conclusion stemming from the considerations in this article is that the integration of frugal and sustainable innovation principles can breathe new life into the discussion about sustainable innovation and sustainable development in general.
Keywords: frugal innovation; sustainable innovation; eco-innovation; sustainable development; pro-poor innovation.
Market maketh Magic Consequences and Implications of Market Choice for Frugal Innovation
by Lukas Neumann, Stephan Winterhalter, Oliver Gassmann
Abstract: This study systematically analysed 237 Frugal Innovation cases in order to understand the consequences and implications of market choice on the characteristics of a successful Frugal Innovation. The results demonstrate that this type of innovation is disruptive to its respective target market. Further, the study shows that firms that want to achieve such innovation tend to focus either on activities along the value chain or the solution (product/service) itself. This distinction yielded four clusters of Frugal Innovation, which are described in detail, including aspects regarding strategy, organisation, processes and technology.
Keywords: Frugal Innovation; resource-constrained innovation; emerging markets; developing markets; bottom of the pyramid; emerging middle class; disruption; low-end disruption; new market disruption.
Product attributes and digital innovation performance: The importance of country and firm level supporting environment
by Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas, Tejovathi Inamanamelluri, Qi Zou
Abstract: The emergence of digital technology has changed the structure and functions of products. Digitalized products are connectable with digital resources, reprogrammable for personal customization, and upgradable for continuous improvement. Digital innovation (DI) not only makes industrial products capable of serving various customers needs, but also brings great challenges to companies. In the literature, DI critical success factors remain uncovered, so do the environmental conditions that support DI. In this paper, we developed a theoretical model that identifies product attributes (e.g. product modularity, upgradability, usage frequency, and uniqueness) that have effects on product DI performance. Further, we elaborated the importance of establishing and selecting appropriate environment at country level (e.g. degree of uncertainty avoidance and degree of technology proficiency), and firm level (e.g. strategy, resources, and structure) for DI. Essentially, this study suggests that interaction effects of product attributes and supporting environments could significantly improve product DI performance.
Keywords: Digital innovation; product modularity; product upgradability; product usage frequency; product uniqueness; digital innovation supporting environment; digital innovation performance.