ایجاد فرایند نوآوری یک محصو بازارمحور: نگرش اقتضایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16438||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 29, Issue 8, August 2009, Pages 517–526
This study analyzes how and why a firm's change program to create a market-oriented innovation process depends on its environmental, innovational and organizational context. Based on an organizational-learning capabilities framework, the results from a multiple case study indicate how a firm's change objectives, activities and approach are affected by this context. Whereas in low-tech firms a market-back approach with changes in organization structure and project management structure was effective, high-tech firms were more effective implementing a combined programmatic and market-back approach with changes also in philosophy and process management structure. The study contributes to theory by demonstrating that a firm's change program depends on its context and a one-best-way-fits-all change program is not feasible. It also shows that the change program could start with a coherent set of changes in structures, systems instead of starting with people's values and attitudes in order to change their behavior. The findings suggest that firms use a much more fragmented emergent approach to organizational change than the literature suggests. In addition, managers creating a market orientation in a key process – product innovation – need to use an approach different from a cultural change program as often advocated to change a whole organization.
Increasing competition, shortening product life cycles and the need for successful new products have put market orientation on the agenda of innovating firms. There are several reasons why firms stand to benefit from a market-oriented product innovation process. Product innovation – hereafter abbreviated to innovation – is a core process for creating superior customer value through new products (Day, 1994; Srivastava et al., 2001). Gaining insight into customer value and competitive advantage, and the effective translation of insight into appropriate actions, are enabled by a firm's market orientation (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990; Narver and Slater, 1990). Also, while a customer orientation may hinder developing breakthrough products for new emerging markets (Voss and Voss, 2000; Zhou et al., 2005), a market orientation has a positive effect on firm performance (Rodriguez Cano et al., 2004; Kirca et al., 2005) and is a key driver of new product success (Atuahene-Gima et al., 2005; Langerak et al., 2004; Narver et al., 2004; Han et al., 1998). In addition, because of its interfunctional nature, a market-oriented innovation process can be used to initiate changes in other key business processes such as manufacturing and after-sales service, and thus improve the firm's overall level of market orientation (Day, 1994). While managers readily acknowledge the need for a market-oriented innovation process, they lack specific guidelines to assist them in creating such a process. First of all, the academic literature does not explain what a market-oriented product innovation process is and how it may differ across firms. Consequently, it is not clear what managers of different firms must change in the innovation process and the underlying organizational structures and systems. In other words, the perceived end result of the change process is likely to be ambiguous. This is partly because the results of earlier studies are inconclusive as to whether market orientation (as market information-processing activities) has a direct effect on new product success or (as organizational culture) has an indirect effect on new product success for instance through the proficiency of innovation activities. In addition, hardly any study shows how market orientation should be integrated in the innovation process ( Adams et al., 1998; Varela and Benito, 2005). But in addition to knowing what the perceived end result of the change process is, managers also need to know how to implement the required changes to create a market-oriented innovation process. This involves amongst others choosing an effective approach – e.g. programmatic versus emergent – to structure the change process given the circumstances. And academic progress in that area has also been limited. While the extant market orientation literature stresses the importance of implementation issues and includes some studies on the guidelines for implementing a market orientation at the firm level ( Beverland and Lindgreen, 2007; Day, 1999; Gebhardt et al., 2006; Lichtenthal and Wilson, 1992; Narver et al., 1998) or for implementing a customer orientation ( Kennedy et al., 2003), it fails to address the specifics of the innovation process and the other contingency factors that may influence the implementation. Typically, the literature suggests a one-best-way-fits-all approach of change that does not justify differences in environmental, organizational and innovation context. In addition, although the innovation literature shows how innovation should be managed, it fails to examine how firms change their innovation approach and which environmental and organizational factors determine such changes ( Ettlie and Subramaniam, 2004). To sum up, despite the numerous studies about innovation and market orientation, research into change programs describing what and how firms could change to create a more market-oriented innovation process are sorely lacking (Adams et al., 1998; Varela and Benito, 2005). The purpose of this research is to analyze how and why a firm's change program to create a market-oriented innovation process depends on contingency variables in the environmental, innovational and organizational context. Both the pattern of required changes in systems and structures amongst others, and the most effective approach to implement those changes depend on these contingency variables. This paper is structured as follows. In Section 2, we discuss the literature on market orientation, innovation and change, and present our conceptual framework. Next in Section 3, the case research method is explained and the results from our exploratory empirical investigation of Dutch industrial firms are presented in Section 4. We conclude with a discussion of the study's theoretical contributions, management implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research in Section 5.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The academic innovation literature made considerable progress investigating how firms can effectively manage the innovation process, but it fails to offer insight into effective approaches to change innovation and allow for contingencies (Ettlie and Subramaniam, 2004). This calls for studies offering a consistent set of guidelines for creating a more market-oriented innovation process under different conditions (Adams et al., 1998; Varela and Benito, 2005). This study addresses this gap in the literature. 5.1. Theoretical contributions The extant literature discusses the implementation of market orientation at the level of the firm (e.g. Beverland and Lindgreen, 2007; Day, 1999; Gebhardt et al., 2006; Narver et al., 1998), but researchers have argued that it should be studied at the level of a firm's processes (Day, 1994). Our study answers this call for research by investigating market orientation in relation to one of the firm's key processes: product innovation. Our findings describe in detail how the characteristics of a firm's context influence initiatives to create an innovation process that is more market oriented. Such a process approach offers both detailed insight into the intricacies of creating a market orientation at a process level and numerous suggestions for future researchers who want to contribute to the literature on the implementation of market orientation in firms. The findings from our exploratory study contribute to the extant literature by demonstrating that the change program to create a more market-oriented innovation process depends on the environment in which the firm operates. Using a contextual change process perspective, we investigated and contrasted firms in a high-tech and low-tech context and found substantial differences in change objectives, patterns of changes, change approaches and effects on a firm's market information-processing behavior and capability. The low-tech firms dealt with powerful customers in a relatively stable environment, whereas the high-tech firms faced a combination of innovation complexity, technological turbulence, competitiveness and market uncertainty. In addition to these context factors, several organizational characteristics (organizational structure, strategy, top management influence, growth stage) also influenced the specifics of the change program. Together, these contextual factors shaped the firm's change objectives, pattern of changes, as well as its change approach. These findings are in line with the literature on organizational change (Dunphy and Stace, 1988; Pettigrew et al., 2001), but in sharp contrast to recent empirical studies on the implementation of market orientation at the firm level (Beverland and Lindgreen, 2007; Gebhardt et al., 2006) that propose a one-best-way-fits-all change process and ignore diversity across organizational and environment contexts. Another theoretical contribution of our study concerns the frequently emphasized importance of changing a firm's values and norms (Lichtenthal and Wilson, 1992; Gebhardt et al., 2006). Several authors have stated that in implementing a market orientation firms need to start with changing their values and norms. But our findings show that only the high-tech firms implemented a comprehensive series of changes, encompassing organizational structure, behavior, including their values and norms. In contrast, the low-tech firms only changed their organizational and project management structure. This suggests that firms may create an innovation process that is more market oriented by changing their structures and systems, but do not necessarily need to start with changing people's values and attitudes in order to change their behavior (Beer et al., 1990; Waldersee and Griffiths, 2004). These different findings again emphasize the need for future researchers to account for the complexities of market orientation in different organizational processes and not treat market orientation as a homogeneous organizational characteristic (Day, 1994). A third theoretical contribution of our study is that it illustrates that firms may use a much more fragmented and emergent approach to organizational change than the extant literature suggests. Many authors advocate a holistic, stepwise planned change program directed by top management to implement a market orientation (e.g. Day, 1999; Gebhardt et al., 2006). But our findings unequivocally show that change programs depend on contextual factors and tend to be much more fragmented and emergent (Narver et al., 1998). Not one of the firms we investigated initiated a comprehensive organization-wide program that explicitly aimed to make its innovation processes more market oriented. Instead, they reacted to their environments by implementing various related changes that contribute to a more market-oriented innovation process. 5.2. Managerial implications Our findings have several significant implications for managers. Foremost is our conclusion that there is no one-best-way-fits-all approach for creating a more market-oriented innovation process and thus for developing new products that address customer needs and are superior to competitive offerings. There are several ways to achieve this objective and the appropriate change approach strongly depends on a firm's organizational characteristics, innovation background and the nature of the environment in which it operates. Therefore, managers need to be cautious in using general findings and guidelines found in the extant literature. While they can use these findings and guidelines, they must translate them to the complexity of their own organizational reality. In addition, managers need a holistic perspective to create a market-oriented innovation process. Firms must not solely focus on improving their collection, dissemination and utilization of market information at each stage of the innovation process. Instead, the daily business of learning about customers and markets, the innovation process and various innovation projects need to be managed strategically with attention to the relationships between issues such as market information gathering, interfunctional coordination, organizational-learning and team performance. Consistent with other recent studies, our findings suggest that managers creating a market-oriented innovation process, do not learn tricks, but implement a holistic pattern of changes (Beverland and Lindgreen, 2007; Day, 1999; Gebhardt et al., 2006). However, in contrast to these studies’ suggestions, changing the innovation process requires a different pattern than starting off with a cultural change program as is often advocated in the literature. Instead, management should focus on changes in cognitive elements such as knowledge and skills, technical systems and critical managerial structures and systems (innovation philosophy, strategy, organizational structure, management models). These cognitive changes may subsequently—if consistently related through an appropriate change approach—encourage behavior, and in turn influence the supporting cultural values and norms. Of all changes to create a market-oriented innovation process, the firm's process/project management structure seems to be the most important driver of effective change. Thus, the focus should be on changing the supporting organizational infrastructure rather than its corporate culture. Although culture is an important element of market orientation, it is not the most effective lever to implement the desired changes. In designing a change approach managers need to account for three sets of contextual factors: (1) environmental factors, such as market structure, customer and technological turbulence, and competitiveness, (2) innovation factors, such as product and process complexity and the stage of the technology and product life cycle, and (3) organizational factors, such as organizational structure, strategy, growth and top management influence. In a low-tech context an emergent market-back approach based on bottom-up experiential learning appears to be effective. But one should not expect quick results, even with respect to behavioral changes. In a high-tech context such an emergent approach must to be combined with a prescribed programmatic top-down teaching approach. Managers may use programmatic elements to speed up the process and increase its impact, but should not forget that market-back aspects are also important. All in all, our findings increase managers’ understanding of the change processes and aspects involved in creating an innovation process that is more market oriented. Such an innovation process helps managers to improve their firm's innovation performance. In addition, with our advocated holistic change program managers will increase their firm's interfunctional coordination and thus contribute to its market orientation in other organizational processes and units. 5.3. Limitations and future research While our exploratory study offers significant insight into the process of creating a market-oriented innovation process, there are also limitations. First, while our cross-sectional respective case research design offered an in-depth understanding of the nature, pattern and mechanisms of change to a market-oriented innovation process across polar contexts, the generalizability of our findings is limited. This suggests the need for additional research to test our framework in different environmental settings, to investigate a larger number of firms, and to study more varied organizational contexts. Future research could also explore the influence of other antecedents, such as firm size, product versus service, dimensions of product newness, power concentrations in firms and reward systems. Other researchers striving for a deeper understanding of the intricacies of organizational change processes and contexts may adopt a longitudinal approach, using real-time data to analyze the process of change more systematically, in greater depth and with attention to changing perceptions (Garud and Van de Ven, 2002). Future researchers may also link the process of change to other organizational performance indicators than the behavioral component of market-oriented innovation, such as new product success, customer satisfaction and profitability. Another suggestion is to further investigate the interaction between organizational cognition and behavior, the functioning of organizational memory, and the effects of various management approaches to enhancing market-oriented innovation. Finally, researchers may modify our framework and approach to investigate how firms instill market orientation in business processes other than innovation. All these suggested studies will contribute to our growing understanding of how firms implement a market orientation, thus improving their knowledge of customers and the creation of superior value through new products.