Knowledge distribution among market experts: a closer look into the efficiency of information gathering for innovation projects
by Christian Luthje, Christopher Lettl, Cornelius Herstatt
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 26, No. 5/6, 2003

Abstract: Information gathering from sources outside the company plays a critical role in most innovation projects. Particularly, it seems promising to approach external market experts to develop an in-depth understanding of current use problems, changing customer needs and trends for new product solutions. When planning expert interviews, firms are confronted with the question of whether knowledge is distributed rather homogeneously or heterogeneously (''scattered'') among a pool of experts. This issue strongly determines how many experts need to be interviewed in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of a given search field for innovation. In the present paper, we analyse expert interviews that were conducted in the context of an innovation project in the field of surgical hygiene products. We find high heterogeneity of expert knowledge: market experts in our sample vary in terms of the market information they provide for the particular product field. We argue that this finding is in alignment with the concept of ''bounded rationality'' and the theory of ''contextual development of knowledge''. Our findings have implications for the management of external information gathering and the identification of market experts.

Online publication date: Sun, 14-Dec-2003

The full text of this article is only available to individual subscribers or to users at subscribing institutions.

Existing subscribers:
Go to Inderscience Online Journals to access the Full Text of this article.

Pay per view:
If you are not a subscriber and you just want to read the full contents of this article, buy online access here.

Complimentary Subscribers, Editors or Members of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM):
Login with your Inderscience username and password:

    Username:        Password:         

Forgotten your password?

Want to subscribe?
A subscription gives you complete access to all articles in the current issue, as well as to all articles in the previous three years (where applicable). See our Orders page to subscribe.

If you still need assistance, please email