از توسعه محصول جدید تا تجاری سازی از طریق شبکه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2786||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, Issue 2, February 2012, Pages 198–206
The research on research and development (R&D) networks is plentiful but network relations in commercialization of innovations attract surprisingly little attention. This study analyzes how firms combine resources and utilize their relations in order to ensure the success of their innovations. The theoretical basis combines literature on innovation, industrial networks, and innovation networks. The study includes two cases on commercialization networks. The results indicate that an innovating firm needs resources to engage in customer education, distribution, marketing communication, relationship mediation, and credibility building when moving from R&D tasks to commercialization tasks. To acquire these resources, the firm needs to experience changes in network relations. Accordingly, the innovating firm needs particular commercialization competence in terms of accessing, mobilizing, and organizing relational resources.
The tendency to develop innovations within research and development (R&D) networks is becoming stronger because of high costs and technological complexity (Biemans, 1991 and Ritter and Gemünden, 2003). Diverse network actors such as customers, distributors, research institutions, and competitors can contribute to innovation development (Ritter, 1999 and Ritter and Gemünden, 2003). The research on innovation networks concentrates mainly on resource combinations for product development (Ritter & Gemünden, 2003) and emphasizes how to get the technology ready for the market (Story, Hart, & O'Malley, 2009). Nevertheless, firms also need to mobilize the relational resources within their networks to ensure that the market accepts the product. Successful commercialization is crucial in transforming invention into innovation (Schumpeter, 1934). Even though a few studies of innovation network mention commercialization or launch (Heikkinen et al., 2007, Millson and Wilemon, 2008 and Partanen et al., 2008), they do not focus on commercialization networks. Some research investigates how users and stakeholders can contribute to innovation diffusion (Troshani & Doolin, 2007) and launch (Biemans, 1991 and Harrison and Waluszewski, 2008) but does not emphasize the network approach to commercialization in-depth. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to analyze network relations, actors, and resource requirements for the commercialization of innovations. The innovation process includes both development and marketing activities that may overlap. According to the linear view, the process begins with an idea, proceeds with product development, and ends when the product actually creates wealth, whereas an increasingly popular non-linear approach emphasizes interaction with partners on product development and marketing/commercialization activities (Pellikka & Virtanen, 2009). The term commercialization refers to the development of the product concept, its successful launch, and interaction with potential buyers (Jolly, 1997 and Pellikka and Virtanen, 2009). Bringing a new product to market requires new activities and resources related to the creation of demand, markets, and delivery channels (Harrison and Waluszewski, 2008 and Woodside and Biemans, 2005), creating critical new challenges for innovating firms (Easingwood and Koustelos, 2000 and Urban and Hauser, 1993). Firms that are technology-oriented and concentrate on product development tend to face problems in the acquisition of marketing resources, in communicating effectively with end-users, in building national and international distribution channels, and in accessing market and customer information (Harrison and Waluszewski, 2008 and Pellikka and Virtanen, 2009). Additionally, customers and other actors in the business environment tend to resist new products (Christensen, 1997 and Harrison and Waluszewski, 2008). Nevertheless, successful diffusion requires adoption among users, complementors, and intermediaries (Woodside & Biemans, 2005). The basic premise of this study is that the resources of a single company are rarely sufficient to cover the commercialization of a new product, and therefore resource interaction with other actors in commercialization is crucial. The resources of diverse network actors facilitate not only the generation but also the commercialization of innovations. Customers and other actors external to the firm may have a role in commercialization by identifying potential users, demonstrating how the product works, assessing its market potential, and evaluating the extent to which it meets user needs (Biemans, 1991 and Harrison and Waluszewski, 2008). Small firms in particular may lack financial and competence resources and the legitimacy that enables them to reach potential customers. Additionally, innovating firms may create future demand and new markets by integrating their complementary resources, products, and channel relationships through networking (Möller & Rajala, 2007). In offering access to the resources of other firms (Håkansson & Snehota, 1995), network relations could provide manifold complementary resources for commercialization and thereby support diffusion and adoption of new products. The emphasis in this study is on the role of network relations in both R&D and, specifically, commercialization activities. Because the innovating firm requires different resources for commercialization than for R&D, it needs to renew its existing relations or create completely new ones. Hence the first research question is: What kinds of actors and resources are able to contribute to commercialization activities, and how do the changing resource requirements change network relations? Certain periods and events induce particular changes in networks (Håkansson and Snehota, 1995 and Halinen et al., 1999). The commencement of commercialization activities presumably leads to changes in resource requirements and thus changes in network relations. However, knowledge about change in innovation networks is still deficient, and empirical studies are few in number (Heikkinen et al., 2007). Network competence is essential in the R&D phase (Ritter, 1999 and Ritter and Gemünden, 2003), but also in commercialization, firms need the ability to access and mobilize the necessary relational resources (Story et al., 2009). Commercialization, particularly, sets up substantial challenges in managing network relations. For example, Heikkinen et al. (2007) show how a new-product-development network disintegrated during the commercialization phase because of actors' diverging goals. The second research question is thus: What kinds of network competence facilitate the management of resources during commercialization? This paper aims to enhance the theoretical understanding of the network approach to commercialization by identifying the necessary resources and actors, providing descriptions of network change during the innovation process and analyzing network competence in managing relations related to commercialization activities. A commercialization network refers to a group of actors involved formally or informally in the commercialization of an innovation. The literature suggests manifold definitions of the term innovation (Garcia & Calantone, 2002). This study concentrates on product innovations, and employs the term innovation to mean a successfully developed and launched new or improved product (Trott, 2002). The structure of the article is as follows. The next section focuses on commercialization activities and resources, changes in network relations, and the management of relations. The subsequent empirical study describes two cases of innovation commercialization. A case analysis and discussion about network relations in commercialization follow. The final section discusses the theoretical conclusions, the potential contributions, and the managerial implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Theoretical contribution This study enhances the understanding of how firms use network relations and combine resources in the commercialization of new products. The contribution of the study lies in the exploration of previously neglected commercialization networks within the innovation process, and in the analysis of the manifold actors and resources that contribute to the commercialization activities. Research on innovation networks focuses so far on R&D and only seldom refers explicitly to commercialization networks (e.g., Heikkinen et al., 2007 and Möller and Svahn, 2009). Commercializing a product appears to be more complicated than the literature depicts. This study shows how various actors with diverse resources execute crucial commercialization tasks and thereby reduce resistance to newness (see Fig. 3). In the ideal situation, the commercialization network is versatile, including both horizontal and vertical dimensions. It should combine the complementary resources of non-profit organizations and of service and product providers from distinct but related industries. Therefore, the innovating firm needs to forge relations not only with users (Harrison & Waluszewski, 2008) but also with opinion leaders and lead partners, such as distributors and complementaries, who are able to accelerate diffusion, adaptation, and market creation. If the actors are dissimilar and carry out different tasks in a multidimensional network, they are more likely to complement each other. The analysis of how radical network changes emerge throughout the innovation process is an additional contribution. Overcoming path dependence (Håkansson & Waluszewski, 2002) and inducing changes that produce radically new combinations of resources among actors who have not previously cooperated is quite a challenge. The existing relations and resources of the actors in the R&D network are also influential in enabling change in the commercialization in terms of building trust, credibility, and commitment. Research should focus attention to the linkages between R&D and commercialization networks. This focus would allow consideration of the commercialization partners' and the users' needs in the R&D activities as well as involving lead partners and users to actively promote the innovation in the commercialization activities. The findings support the perspective that commercialization demands a new kind of network competence including the ability to identify and access the required resources, to mobilize and organize resource combinations, and to manage the change of network relations. Actors in R&D networks combine resources for product development, but in the commercialization phase they easily face challenges related to blurred goals and problems with trust. Similarity in goals, but dissimilarity in resources and complementarity in offerings, facilitate resource interaction for commercialization. Commercialization likely benefits from inter-organizational cooperation across industry borders and radical combinations of resources, but actor diversity and dissimilarity might also complicate managing commercialization activities. Potential partners need clear resource trade-offs as motivators to integrate resources, and will commit to the commercialization only if it fits in with their activities, strategy, and business model. Due to blurred activities and expectations, problems with trust easily emerge, and the unclear distinction between competitors and cooperators may hinder both the building of commercialization relations and interaction among relevant actors. 6.2. Managerial implications The findings inform managerial implications for successful commercialization and the effective management of network relations within the innovation process. From this research, two strategies emerge for applying the network approach to the commercialization of new products. Firms can use a portfolio of inter-organizational relationships (cf., Ritter & Gemünden, 2003) and thus offer clear benefits and resource trade-offs to actors who are able to make a contribution. Alternatively, innovating firms can collaborate in a strategic way and use their network relations to create markets and new business fields (cf., Möller et al., 2005), although this kind of network should focus on innovative issues and new business models rather than particular innovations. Managers in innovating firms should acknowledge the links between R&D and commercialization and should purposefully create relations with diverse actors who are either of direct use in the commercialization activities or have relations with other relevant actors. Managers should consider the potential contribution of non-profit organizations. In the context of risky innovations, firms should employ the trust-creation effect of their R&D network actors, utilize existing network relations when extending their relationship base, and be cautious about pursuing discrete radical changes. 6.3. Evaluation and avenues for future research As each network is context-specific, the generalizability of the results is limited. The two cases do not represent all industries or firms, and studies on other industries may give different answers. In this research, the end-users of the innovations were consumers who accentuate the role of intermediary actors. Nevertheless, most new knowledge on commercialization networks is likely to be applicable to business markets. Future research on inter-organizational networks should take commercialization aspects into account more explicitly and investigate commercialization and market-creation networks in different industries and for different types of innovation.