CIIM Nova-MIT re­search on lag­gards and value cre­ation fea­tured by WSJ

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Cyprus is one of three coun­tries and CIIM one of five in­sti­tu­tions in­volved in a re­search pro­ject by CIIM’s Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor Luis Filipe Lages, of Nova School of Busi­ness and Eco­nom­ics in Por­tu­gal and Sara Ja­han­mir of Nova and MIT, fea­tured last week in The Wall Street Jour­nal (WSJ). The re­search ex­plores the role and im­por­tance of lag­gards and late adopters of in­no­va­tions for com­pa­nies and so­ci­ety. This in­no­va­tive re­search pro­ject was de­vel­oped in co­op­er­a­tion with CIIM stu­dents over the past five years.

The fea­tured work of SBE/CIIM’s Lages and MIT’s Ja­han­mir on in­no­va­tion and value cre­ation, pub­lished in Jour­nal of En­gi­neer­ing and Tech­nol­ogy Man­age­ment (2015) and Jour­nal of Busi­ness Re­search, with CIIM in­put, has re­ceived sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion in all three edi­tions of WSJ (US, Europe, Asia).

Late adopters are in­di­vid­u­als who buy a prod­uct or ser­vice only af­ter the ma­jor­ity. For many years, the­ory and prac­tice has merely em­pha­sised the role of early adopters in in­no­va­tion and idea gen­er­a­tion. Ja­han­mir and Lages ar­gue that in or­der to cre­ate value and re­main com­pet­i­tive, com­pa­nies need to con­sider the role of all user cat­e­gories in the idea gen­er­a­tion and new prod­uct de­vel­op­ment (NPD) pro­cesses.

With the ob­jec­tive of bet­ter un­der­stand­ing late adopters and help­ing com­pa­nies to ob­tain and an­a­lyse in­for­ma­tion from th­ese con­sumers, au­thors stud­ied late adopters and lag­gards for sev­eral years in three coun­tries, France, Ger­many and Cyprus, and ap­plied the Lag-User Method – a seven step NPD method - to dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies, prod­ucts, and ser­vices,

Stud­ies re­sulted in over 60 break­through and in­cre­men­tal new ideas across a wide range of sec­tors such as tech­nolo­gies (lap­tops, smart­phones), on­line ser­vices (so­cial me­dia, mo­bile apps), fi­nan­cial ser­vices (banks, credit cards, and in­sur­ances), hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, drink and food in­dus­try, con­sumer goods and NGOs.

The re­search re­vealed that late adopters care about prod­ucts’ func­tion­al­ity rather than brand im­ages, pre­fer sim­ple prod­ucts which of­fer clear value and are dif­fi­cult to con­vince. How­ever, once they are con­vinced, they will be loyal cus­tomers. By in­volv­ing late adopters in idea gen­er­a­tion and NPD pro­cesses, com­pa­nies can get ac­cess to the valu­able in­sight of th­ese ig­nored con­sumers. Late adopters’ in­put can help com­pa­nies in­crease value while cut­ting costs, and so re­move bar­ri­ers to adop­tion of in­no­va­tions, cross the chasm and so ac­cel­er­ate the rate of in­no­va­tion adop­tion.

CIIM’s in­ter­na­tional Pro­fes­sor Lages, be­lieves that with this sci­en­tific ad­vance­ment now we have em­pir­i­cal ev­i­dence that com­pa­nies can in­no­vate and cre­ate value by study­ing late adopters. This al­lows com­pa­nies to ex­plore new mar­ket spa­ces, iden­tify the weak­nesses of their prod­ucts and those of com­peti­tors, and turn those weak­nesses into strengths, cre­ate new gen­er­a­tions of prod­ucts and ser­vices aligned with fu­ture mar­ket needs and thus gain higher mar­ket shares. The au­thors ac­knowl­edge the sup­port and par­tic­i­pa­tion of CIIM stu­dents, with­out whom this achieve­ment wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble.

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