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Book part
Publication date: 21 May 2010

Tim Kessler and Michael Stephan

As an answer for the limited growth potentials of diversification and internationalization, services became increasingly important for industrial firms in recent years…

Abstract

As an answer for the limited growth potentials of diversification and internationalization, services became increasingly important for industrial firms in recent years. Based on existing and established business concepts, companies explore new segments in their traditional value chains beyond traditional market penetration strategies: they pursue service transition strategies to open up new sources for growth, even in markets that do not promise great expansion potential. Our paper addresses the issue of economies of scope of service transition. In this context, we first explore the question, to what extent the insights about product diversification strategies from physical goods sectors can be transferred to the service sector. Using competence-based considerations on diversification we focus on dynamic economies of scope, whose central idea is exploration and development of new resources rather than the static exploitation of existing ones. Furthermore, we integrate the largely neglected issue of how the phenomenon of service diversification depends on the industry's life cycle stage. In a small empirical study of the German mechanical engineering industry we demonstrate that diversification steps into services require a shift in the resource and competence base of firms. Using a dynamic perspective, we construct a conceptual framework for analyzing and explaining the advantages of service transition strategies. The developed model describes a service diversification trajectory and points out that the establishment of a profitable service business requires the exploration and development of competences and adequate organizational structures.

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Enhancing Competences for Competitive Advantage
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-877-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Lara Agostini, Federico Caviggioli, Roberto Filippini and Anna Nosella

In today’s economy, intangibles have become more important than physical assets for firm success. In particular, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered an…

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1535

Abstract

Purpose

In today’s economy, intangibles have become more important than physical assets for firm success. In particular, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) registered an increasing trend in patenting, exceeding large firms in the number of patent registrations. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between patents and SME sales performance, taking into consideration also patent quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach uses panel regression model to investigate the relationship between patenting and sales, controlling for firm size and firm age. The authors adopt a purposive sampling technique focusing on a sample of Italian SMEs in the mechanical industry.

Findings

The results show that the count of patents do not have any effect on sales performance, while the number of jurisdictions where the protection is extended produces a positive and significant result.

Practical implications

The main implication for SME entrepreneurs and managers is that relying on a large number of patents does not automatically lead to higher performance; instead, filing those patents which protect particularly valuable innovations could be more productive in terms of SME sales performance Moreover, the results suggest that a longer time lag between patent filing and SME sales performance might be possible.

Originality/value

This paper is one of first attempts to shed light on the issue regarding SMEs patent quality. It is notable that the quality of patents in terms of geographical scope is positively associated to SME sales performance.

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European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1947

THE Government, through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, is setting up a special organization to carry out scientific research in Mechanical

Abstract

THE Government, through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, is setting up a special organization to carry out scientific research in Mechanical Engineering to meet, and still more to anticipate, the needs of industry and government departments. The eventual annual expenditure will be in the region of £250,000 to £350,000, although it is unlikely that this figure can be reached for some years because of the present difficulties in obtaining suitably qualified staff and buildings. The research is intended mainly to supplement the research carried on in other research organizations in this country, and will largely be confined to those fundamental problems which underlie all mechanical engineering. Thus the subjects in which research is expected to be carried out are:

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Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2020

Amir Bahman Radnejad, Michael F. Ziolkowski and Oleksiy Osiyevskyy

This paper aims to expand the understanding of the design thinking (DT) field and provides evidence that DT as an innovation mindset centered on user/human needs is able…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to expand the understanding of the design thinking (DT) field and provides evidence that DT as an innovation mindset centered on user/human needs is able to lead enterprises to the development of radical product innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an illustrative case analysis of four eras of radical innovations in the watch industry, from the mechanical wristwatches to smartwatches.

Findings

The findings from the watch industry substantiate the developed DT triangle framework for designers, managers and executives, enabling the development of radical product innovation.

Originality/value

The study provides evidence for the claim that human-centered approach (rather than design-driven, meaning-changing approach) in DT can successfully lead to radical product innovations. For this, this paper distinguishes between “need” and “meaning” in the DT field and reemphasize the role of creating empathy with users to be able to identify their newly shaped needs. Fulfilling these newly shaped needs would ultimately result in the development of radically new products.

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Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 42 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1986

Bodo B. Schlegelmilch

Attempts to provide a better explanation of differences in diverse export behaviour among similar operating firms in the same country. Wishes to compensate for…

Abstract

Attempts to provide a better explanation of differences in diverse export behaviour among similar operating firms in the same country. Wishes to compensate for deficiencies by analysing determinants of behaviour of exporting firms by: controlling for country‐specific; and industry‐specific influences on them. Tests the hypothesis and chosen research approaches which are based on earlier results. Discusses the use of a four‐part questionnaire designed with 194 independent variables and how this was sent to 1,500 managing directors of British and German food‐processing and mechanical engineering firms ‐ there were, by June 1982, 310 replies. Compares extracted sets of discriminating variables to validate by test established hypothesis. Identifies six key influences on export behaviour and concludes that the chosen research approach is an important step towards model building. Finally, states that future researchers will find scope to refine results further, and in more detail and uses a Likert scale with nine concepts.

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European Journal of Marketing, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Johanna Klewitz, Anica Zeyen and Erik G. Hansen

The purpose of this paper is to identify the role intermediaries can play in an small to medium‐sized enterprise's (SME's) pursuit for corporate sustainability with a…

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3625

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the role intermediaries can play in an small to medium‐sized enterprise's (SME's) pursuit for corporate sustainability with a focus on eco‐innovation. The research identifies drivers and barriers for eco‐innovation, and highlights effects induced through collaboration between SMEs and local authorities, on the one hand, and consultancies, on the other.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on an exploratory qualitative interview study among German SMEs of the metal and mechanical engineering industry that have participated in “Ecoprofit”, an intermediary based program that aims at introducing organizations to the concept of sustainable development through implementation of eco‐innovations.

Findings

The key findings are that first, the proactive approach by a public intermediary (here local authority) is one essential push factor to trigger eco‐innovations in SMEs with low absorptive capacity. Second, it is found that SMEs may need facilitation for eco‐innovation from different types of intermediaries (public and private) with different levels of support, which can range from customized and individual to more loosely held support, such as networks.

Originality/value

This study discusses the challenges of corporate sustainability with a focus on eco‐innovations for SMEs and proposes a “complex intermediary” consisting of a local authority and consultancies as one means to engage SMEs in sustainability. Moreover, it focuses on SMEs in the B2B context, organizations that are often overlooked despite their vast impact. Furthermore, by using a single industry approach, in‐depth findings for the metal and mechanical engineering industry are presented.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Sabrina Helm, Ludger Rolfes and Bernd Günter

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to investigate the supplier's view on supplier‐initiated relationship dissolution due to lack of customer profitability.

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2639

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to investigate the supplier's view on supplier‐initiated relationship dissolution due to lack of customer profitability. Design/methodology/approach – The research is focused on inter‐organisational buyer‐seller relationships. An exploratory study in the German mechanical engineering industry was conducted to provide insights into the usage of customer valuation techniques and the preponderance of unprofitable customer relationships, and to identify various ways of managing unprofitable customer relationships by means of cluster analysis. Findings – The study shows that many companies in the industry lack knowledge and use of customer valuation techniques. Three clusters of supplying firms are identified that differ in their willingness to end unprofitable customer relationships. Research limitations/implications – Provides an exploratory study into a neglected aspect of relationship marketing characterised by a low response rate. The sample contained companies from one major German industry, limiting the applicability of its findings. The main implications are that unprofitable customer relationships are a common feature of industrial markets, which merits further investigation. Respondents were shown to have a range of different views and approaches to such relationships. Research on customer valuation needs to focus on the implementation barriers of valuation methods. Practical implications – Study results stress the importance of developing and implementing customer valuation methods, the relevance of unprofitable relationships, and suppliers' decision making concerning such precarious relationships. It is a useful source of information and impartial advice for managers involved with customer management. Originality/value – The paper leads to a more thorough understanding of relationship marketing and provides empirical data on a neglected field of marketing research, as prior work did not consider the supplier's view on dissolution management in detail.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1981

The new powerful large scale general purpose finite element programme system SESAM‐80, is designed to meet the challenges of numerical analysis in engineering in the…

Abstract

The new powerful large scale general purpose finite element programme system SESAM‐80, is designed to meet the challenges of numerical analysis in engineering in the 1980s. The capabilities include linear and non‐linear static and dynamic analysis, field problems including heat transfer, hydroelasticity electro‐magnetism, etc. The programme is specifically adapted for application of the multi‐level super‐element technique which gives efficient means of modelling and analysis of large and complex structures. Special emphasis is placed in the development of efficient and user oriented batch and interactive pre‐ and post‐processors. In order to meet the requirements of different industries, the SESAM‐80 programmes are adapted in turn key packages for the offshore industry, the ship industry, mechanical industry, etc.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2007

Shiaw‐Wen Tien, Yi‐Chan Chung, Chih‐Hung Tsai and Chung‐Yun Dong

In the competitive global market, firms have to keep profit from innovation activities. A firm makes profits by offering products or services at a lower cost than its…

Abstract

In the competitive global market, firms have to keep profit from innovation activities. A firm makes profits by offering products or services at a lower cost than its competitors or by offering differentiated products at premium prices that more than compensate for the extra cost of differentiation. The IC Package and Testing technology industries were the first high technological industry to build in Taiwan. The Package and Testing industries in Taiwan adopted competitive innovation activities to become stronger. In our study, we want to know how innovation activities influence a firm operating in the IC Package and Testing industries. Our study used a questionnaire and Likert five‐point scale to survey the innovation activities, customer and feedback in innovation performance in the IC Package and Testing industry. The wafer level chip size packing technology in our study indicates the innovation activities. Because we need to compare the difference between the wafer level chip size packing technology and wire bonding technology to recognize innovation and how the innovator and customer were influenced. Our conclusions are described below: (1) When the innovator adopts innovation activities that can be maintained using experiments and knowledge, using machine and decision variables more quickly will produce success; (2) Innovators should adopt innovation activities that focus on customers that use knowledge and experimentation, training time and cost. If an innovation forces customers to spend much time and cost to learn new technology or applications, the innovation will not be adopted; (3) Innovators that create innovation performance higher than his customers must also consider the impact upon their customers. We have to remind innovator to focus on why their customers have a different level of evolution in the same innovation activities.

Details

Asian Journal on Quality, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1598-2688

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1981

Patricia A. Dutton

The Manpower Services Commission (MSC) has recently issued a consultative document in which it sets down the three propositions or aims for its new initiative on training…

Abstract

The Manpower Services Commission (MSC) has recently issued a consultative document in which it sets down the three propositions or aims for its new initiative on training. The document attempts not to be too controversial and gives all points of view, but it does stress that the three objectives:

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

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