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Gaining market acceptance in safety: the early development of the seatbelt industry in Sweden
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(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
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100795OAI: diva2:663703
Available from: 2013-11-12 Created: 2013-11-12 Last updated: 2013-11-12
In thesis
1. Modular Innovation in Mature Structures
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Modular Innovation in Mature Structures
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.
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
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28878 (URN)14074 (Local ID)91-85457-12-4 (ISBN)14074 (Archive number)14074 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-12

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Jönsson, Petter
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Department of Management and EconomicsThe Institute of Technology
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