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|Title: ||Lead customer interaction during the commercialisation process of radical technologies|
|Authors: ||VERCAUTEREN, Anne|
|Issue Date: ||2004|
|Citation: ||4th Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, St. Andrews, Scotland, May 5-8 2004.|
|Abstract: ||The radical innovation process initiated by a technology push differs
remarkably from the orderly incremental innovation process. The role and form of
customer interaction for one vary significantly according to innovation type. It is clear
that incremental innovations tend to be customer driven, but customer involvement in
the commercialization of breakthroughs is much more contested (Christensen 1997).
Nevertheless, several case studies and previous research show the potential value of
lead customer input for the commercialization of radical technologies (Jolly 1997).
The paper analyzes collaboration of innovating companies with industrial lead
customers during the different phases of technology commercialization. Access,
transfer and creation of knowledge are key processes in the interorganizational
collaboration. Lead customers benefit by acquiring a superior product. The supplier
manages to reduce lead times and improve new product performance by accessing
customer expertise (Brown and Eisenhardt 1995). The dynamics of uncertainty,
opportunism, power and suspicion can severely harm interorganizational learning. In
contrast high stakes, trust, commitment and a long-term orientation motivate both
partners to see the unpredictable technology commercialization process through.
We take the knowledge-based theory of inter-firm collaboration (Grant and
Baden-Fuller 1995) as the predominant paradigm of our research. The conceptual
framework comprises concepts such as technology commercialization (Jolly 1997)
and lead customer interaction (Leifer et al. 2000).
These concepts provide a relatively clear description of the context for a study
of lead customer interaction for technology commercialization. We investigate what
exactly to learn collectively, when and with whom. An exploratory study consisting of
five cases in large firms provides preliminary insights. We anlayse customer
interaction in these cases and delineate topics for further research.|
|Type: ||Conference Material|
|Appears in Collections: ||Research publications|
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