Strategic Value Assessment and Explorative Learning Opportunities with Customers

Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2011

37 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2011

See all articles by Edwin J. Nijssen

Edwin J. Nijssen

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)

Bas Hillebrand

Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Management Research

Jeroen P.J. de Jong

Utrecht University - School of Economics

Ron Kemp

Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa)

Date Written: September 29, 2011

Abstract

This study recognizes that collaboration with customers for new product development may bring important financial benefits to firms, but at the same time may seriously hamper explorative learning. Many firms are approached by customers with requests to develop new products for them. While such requests may strengthen customer relationships and result in short-term financial gains, it may force a firm in technologically undesirable directions. As a result, many firms struggle with the dilemma of, on the one hand, responding to customer requests, and on the other hand, safeguarding the long-term competitive position of the firm. Firms with strong customer ties are particularly prone to this dilemma. Drawing on opportunity recognition literature, capability monitoring literature as well as goal setting theory, the authors have developed a framework arguing that Strategic Value Assessment (SVA) can help resolve this. SVA is defined as an a-prior business evaluation of the value of a particular innovation collaboration, based on anticipated long-term strategic benefits. It helps innovative firms to focus on collaboration with customers with lead user status and to develop intense relationships, allowing for more effective knowledge transfer and learning. The framework is tested using data collected from a sample of 136 business-to-business firms in the Netherlands. The sampling frame was a panel of small and medium-sized high-tech enterprises. The study finds positive direct and indirect effects of SVA on explorative learning. In addition, the findings show that the intense collaboration/learning relationship is positively moderated by customer lead user status, and negatively moderated by customer dependence. The findings suggest that SVA is a useful heuristic for managers to utilize opportunities for innovation involving collaboration with customers.

Keywords: Strategic value assessment, opportunity recognition, lead users, explorative learning, customer collaboration, SMEs

JEL Classification: M13, M31, O32

Suggested Citation

Nijssen, Edwin J. and Hillebrand, Bas and de Jong, Jeroen P.J. and Kemp, Ron, Strategic Value Assessment and Explorative Learning Opportunities with Customers (September 29, 2011). Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1935477

Edwin J. Nijssen (Contact Author)

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) ( email )

PO Box 513
Eindhoven, 5600 MB
Netherlands

Bas Hillebrand

Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Management Research ( email )

PO Box 9108
Nijmegen, 6500 HK
Netherlands

Jeroen P.J. De Jong

Utrecht University - School of Economics ( email )

Kriekenpitplein 21-22
Adam Smith Building
Utrecht, +31 30 253 7373 3584 EC
Netherlands

Ron Kemp

Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) ( email )

Wijnhaven 24
NL-2511 GA The Hague, 2500 BH
Netherlands

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
63
Abstract Views
660
rank
350,480
PlumX Metrics