Diffusion Challenges for Innovation in Technology-Intensive Industries
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Many innovations fail on the market. Non-adoption and slow diffusion represent a high risk for companies in technology-intensive industries when looking to innovate, develop, market and launch a new technology. Its diffusion in the market is a major challenge for marketing. The consequence of a failed market introduction can be financial and reputational loss. Diffusion of innovation research shows a short-coming of researching barriers and challenges which prevent new technologies from being successful. This research sheds some light in the diversity, importance and existence of barriers for the diffusion of innovation. The originality of this investigation is a mixed-methods approach to explore barriers and challenges for the diffusion of innovation. An exploratory qualitative research is performed on the unique case of digital radio diffusion in Germany. Barriers evolve by this method in addition to barriers, which so far are described in a theoretical framework. These barriers are researched empirically via an international survey with close to one thousand participants representing experienced practitioners in marketing and sales positions from different industries. Various research findings are presented. The evolving barriers are researched and show circumstances of today, such as the dominance of internet, environmental awareness or the importance of inter-industrial collaboration. Additionally, diffusion barriers from a theoretical framework are tested with empirical data. Findings are presented as evidence for diffusion barriers and their importance for the specific example of digital radio is explained. Furthermore, barriers are also generalized for different technology-intensive industries. The existence of barriers is confirmed by empirical data and patterns of variations are outlined. Validity is achieved via triangulation of methodologies and supporting literature. The findings are presented to extend the theoretical framework and to close a gap in diffusion of innovation theory. The research contributes in very different ways to existing knowledge. Apart from the theoretical contributions, methodological and practical contributions are also made. With quantitative research, the sampling strategy for an online questionnaire considers the benefits of professional social networks on a global level to contribute empirical data to a theoretical framework. The practical contribution is directed to industry stakeholders and practitioners such as in marketing. The research findings result in a framework of barriers and supporting illustrations for technology-intensive industries. Practitioners can benefit from the illustrations for strategic decision-making in business development, product and general management, marketing and sales.
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