Paper info: Customer/supplier interaction for radical technological innovation: inhibitor or facilitator?
Customer/supplier interaction for radical technological innovation: inhibitor or facilitator?
Limburgs Universitair Centrum
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.
This paper builds an argumentation for the position that customer/supplier interaction facilitates radical technological innovation. The paper is basically conceptual in nature and organises arguments on three ever more specific levels. First, some theoretical misconceptions are addressed to create an unambiguous understanding of what falls within the scope of this paper and what does not. In spite of the limited amount of research into customer/supplier interaction for radical technological innovation, the scarce research findings do indicate that customer/supplier interaction facilitates radical technological innovation and that it is a subject worthy of further investigation. Second, arguments are drawn from extant literature to strengthen the statement that customer/supplier interaction facilitates radical technological innovation in all phases of the innovation process. Considerable attention is devoted to developing a motivation for engaging in customer/supplier interaction during the fuzzy front end of innovation. The paper takes into account that initiative for radical technological innovation can come from either party in the customer/supplier interaction. On a third level the fundamental mechanism by which customer/supplier interaction facilitates radical technological innovation is discussed. It is suggested that the learning opportunities in the customer/supplier interaction contribute to reducing uncertainty in the highly unpredictable radical technological innovation process.