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Modular Innovation in Mature Structures
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The field of interest in this study is modular innovation. This type of innovation replaces an old parr of an existing product or adds new functionality to an existing product. Modular innovations are important to increase the performance of an existing product and retain the competitiveness of the product. The purpose of this thesis is to: suggest some explanatory factors that can influence how and if modular innovation, which adds new functionality to an existing product, can become adopted within a mature industry. To achieve this purpose the analysis has been divided in two levels. The first level analyses how the modular innova· tion firs with the product architecture of the final product. The second level analyses how the industrial structures within the industry affects the possibilities for an entrant firm to establish oneself as a new supplier. The empirical data is collected from the automotive industry. The study is based on in-depth interviews.

The study illustrates that there is a difference between modular innovation that replace an existing module and modular innovation which adds new functionality to an existing product. In addition, the driving forces for replacing and adding innovation are different. The driving force for modular innovation which adds new functionality is linked with recognition of new needs. In contrast, replacing modular innovation is driven by competitive forces based on well-known parameters and the search for new technical solutions which can improve the performance of the existing module.

The study shows how industrial structures affect the possibility for entreating firms to introduce new modular innovation. Although the innovation in technical terms very well fits the final product it is far from certain that the innovation will become adopted. Aggravating circumstances for new entrants is the lack of organizational resources. Due to the lack of resources, entreating firms can benefit from having owners active within the target industry. Moreover, the imerdependences between the established firms in the industry obstruct the possibilities of established firms to adopt innovations from new suppliers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2005. , 48 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1188Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 95
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28878Local ID: 14074ISBN: 91-85457-12-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-28878DiVA: diva2:249690
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-12
List of papers
1. Conditions to introduce new functionality in a mature industry with modular product structure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Conditions to introduce new functionality in a mature industry with modular product structure
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper deals with the introduction of innovations adding new functionality to a mature and modularizcd industry. The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyze 1) the technical dependencies between the innovation and the established product architecrure and 2) the organizational dependencies between the young technology-driven firm and the established firms. The paper is based on a case study containing two firms involved in the development of active safety applications in the automotive industry. One firm is a young technology-driven firm acting as a highly innovative R&D collaborator to the other firm which is an established manufacturing firm responsible for the final product. The case shows that although a young technology-driven firm may well be aware of its state-of-the-art technical capabilities, limited knowledge of the more subtle managerial requirements needed to get the innovation accepted by established firms impede marker success. The managerial requirements indicated in the case include an understanding of how power dependencies strongly influence the ability to introduce an innovation in a mature and modularized industry. The conclusion of the paper is that power dependence between different organizations within the mature and modularized industry obstructs the possibilities for young technology-driven firms to enter inro the prevailing industry structure. Based on power dependence relations the paper argues that product architecture does not create the frame for the differem modules in a one-way manner, but also that the fixed modules create the frame for the kind of architecture possible to design.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100793 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2013-11-12
2. Gaining market acceptance in safety: the early development of the seatbelt industry in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gaining market acceptance in safety: the early development of the seatbelt industry in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the latest 50 years safety has emerged as a new field in the automotive industry. Beginning with the first experimenrs and start up firms in the early 1950s, the vehicle safety industry has developed into a 14 billion US dollar industry The paper highlights some important factors in the transformation process from small, highly creative and entrepreneurial ventures to a few large and global suppliers. The paper argues that when introducing products within a completely new field, the main difficulties are related to market issues, convincing users and customers that the new function, in this case safety, is necessary and needed. These issues are initially more difficult than actually designing the product itself. As a consequence of the established automotive companies nor easily seeing marker opportunities for products within the new safety field, led to inertia in the automotive industry. The reluctance among most of the established companies to take active part in the development of safety products gave an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to enter.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100795 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2013-11-12
3. Acquisitions of innovative firms and their impact on customer access
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Acquisitions of innovative firms and their impact on customer access
2005 (English)In: Proceedings (online) of the 21st IMP Conference 2005, 1-3 September 2005, Rotterdam, The Netherlands., Rotterdam: RSM Erasmus University , 2005, 49- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Traditionally, the literature depicts acquisitions of technology or innovative firms as a means for the acquirer to obtain resources or knowledge. This paper challenges the traditional view. We take the perspective of an innovative firm ro ask the question: In what ways does the acquirer affect the cusromer access for the target company? This question is addressed where the acquirer is a company within a mature industry, the target is an innovative firm, and when the target's customers at the same time are competitors to the acquirer. The discussion takes its point of departure in a literature review and a case study which highlight issues of customer access in dimensions of ownership and integration. Three hypotheses targeting different aspects of customer access are developed. As this paper considers the situation from the target's perspective it contributes to the literature on acquisitions of innovative firms. Furthermore, it contributes to the innovation literature through highlighting the influence of ownership on an innovative company in the process of getting customer access.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rotterdam: RSM Erasmus University, 2005
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-31298 (URN)17060 (Local ID)9090198369 (ISBN)17060 (Archive number)17060 (OAI)
Conference
21st IMP Conference 2005, 1-3 September 2005, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-12
4. Handling innovations which do not fit
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Handling innovations which do not fit
2004 (English)In: 2004 IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, 2004. Proceedings., 2004, 934-938 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The concepts incremental, modular, architectural and radical innovations introduced by Henderson and Clark (1990) highlights the interdependence between innovation and organizations. Competition forces the established competing firms to create efficient organizations for producing and developing products. Organizations will organize around the product's main components, since they are the key subtask of the design and production problem [H. Mintzberg, 1997]. Architectural and radical innovations representing new and different products are difficult to handle for established organizations because there is a misfit between the new innovation and the established organization. The organization thus works as a strong conserving force for innovations that require changes in product design. And, as a consequence the innovative capability is not nourished.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100796 (URN)0-7803-8519-5 (ISBN)
Conference
IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, October 18-21, 2004.
Note

The revised version of this paper which is included in the licentiate thesis is titled "Organizational structures dual effect on innovation".

Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2013-11-12

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