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Technological diversity management of medical device enterprises

Seiya Shimanuki (Department of Innovation, Graduate School of Innovation Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan)
Tomoko Saiki (Department of Technology Management, Graduate School of Innovation Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Article publication date: 26 October 2012

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine knowledge creation and technological diversity management by medical device manufacturers, to identify strategic directions for innovation in the medical device field.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses two types of data to assess the importance of multiple technologies and technological diversity in product development: patent applications and approvals of medical devices for sale and use in medical treatment. Additional perspective is provided by the results of a survey of management styles.

Findings

While knowledge‐creating innovation frequently combines multiple technologies, the scope of technological diversity, the variety of types of technology combined may be wider in low‐risk than in high‐risk innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size is too small to justify claims of statistical significance. This research should be extended to incorporate more cases and explore the theme in greater depth.

Practical implications

Companies that choose a high‐risk strategy are likely to be more focused on related multiple technologies with which their researchers are already familiar. Conversely, companies that choose a low‐risk strategy may have more room to experiment since, if something goes wrong, the risk to patient health is lower. Innovative medical device enterprise to seek high‐risk device development is proposed to manage optimal diversity for it.

Originality/value

This paper analyses two case studies relevant to growing interest in technological diversity and knowledge management in knowledge‐driven innovation in the medical device industry in Japan.

Keywords

Citation

Shimanuki, S. and Saiki, T. (2012), "Technological diversity management of medical device enterprises", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 420-436. https://doi.org/10.1108/17554251211276380

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited