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Article
Publication date: 9 October 2007

Eva Heiskanen, Kaarina Hyvönen, Mari Niva, Mika Pantzar, Päivi Timonen and Johanna Varjonen

Consumers are sometimes unexpectedly resistant toward radically innovative product concepts, and it is often argued that this is due to their difficulties in understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers are sometimes unexpectedly resistant toward radically innovative product concepts, and it is often argued that this is due to their difficulties in understanding the novel products. Thus, marketing research has focused on new ways to make consumers familiar with new product concepts. The purpose of this study is to present the argument that educating consumers may not solve all problems, and may sometimes even address the wrong question.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors' previous research on consumer responses to new product concepts for the purchasing and consumption of food is drawn upon to explore the reasons for consumers' acceptance of and resistance to radical product innovations.

Findings

Ignorance about radical product concepts is not the sole reason for consumers' resistance to novelties. In many cases, consumers understand the product concepts fairly well. Their lack of enthusiasm stems from other reasons, including the innovation's instrumentalism, its impact on consumers' autonomy, as well as its organizational complexity and systemic effects.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that companies introducing new product innovations may need to take consumers' resistance more seriously. They might need to reconsider the acceptability of new product innovations, and integrate these considerations at earlier stages of the innovation cycle. A more open‐ended approach to concept testing is suggested, encouraging users to evaluate concepts more critically. Concept testing should not be used as a pass/fail screen, but as an opportunity to learn more about potential impacts of the innovation on everyday life and society.

Originality/value

The paper reconsiders resistance to innovations, and demonstrates the value of consumer research for product development.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Sari Yli-Kauhaluoma and Mika Pantzar

– The purpose of this paper is to examine how back-office service staff cope with the intricacies of administrative work.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how back-office service staff cope with the intricacies of administrative work.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies the research approach of “at-home ethnography” in a university back-office. The primary method of data collection was participant listening in the field, either in formal interviews or casual conversations. Photography helped the authors to zoom the conversation in to specific artefacts in administrative offices.

Findings

The study identifies both forward- and backward-looking recipes as essential administrative tools that back-office staff develop and use to handle intricacies that emerge in their daily work. Forward-looking recipes are based on anticipatory cognitive representations, whereas backward-looking recipes are based on experiential wisdom. The study elaborates on the different kinds of modelling practices that back-office service staff engage in while building and applying these two different kinds of recipes.

Practical implications

The recipes support administrators in knowledge replication and thus help avoid interruptions, reduce uncertainty, and produce consistency in administrative processes.

Originality/value

In contrast to existing studies of formal bureaucracies, the study provides a unique empirical account to show how back-office service staff cope with the multiple intricacies existing in current office environments. The study shows how recipes as models contribute to stabilizing or even routinizing work processes in complex administrative situations.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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