Specificities vs Enthusiasm: Nine European Case Studies of Commercialization of Innovation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceeding


In this paper, the critical factors behind commercialization of new product development (NPD) are investigated in order to add to our understanding of what drives and hampers the commercialization of new products and services. With the illustration of nine cases of commercialization from three multinational organizations, an initial framework of three categories of factors related to the success of commercializing innovation was the starting point (cognitive-, process- and managerial factors). Through a combination of inductive and deductive methods, the findings of the multi-case study support the factors and categorization from the preliminary framework, however additional findings emerged. The findings include a need to understand specificity (ability) and enthusiasm (will). Six dimensions of specificity were identified which affects the success of commercializing a new product or service. Firstly, the degree of differentiation (the more customized the product is, the more difficult to market in terms of volume). Next, we have the geographical scope (the more local scope, the less volume can be expected). Thirdly, there are legal and economic variation (possible differences in legislation setting boundaries on the potential markets). Fouthly, the number of potential customers for the given product (a higher level of customization results in fewer potential customers). The fifth dimension is the number of interfaces with the customer (more contacts leading to a lower degree of specificity). The final dimension is the flexibility of capabilities (less flexible personnel and machinery led to a higher degree of specificity). Whilst specificity makes up the essence in the findings, the role of enthusiasm is not to be neglected. Often, but not always, enthusiasm has a positive impact on the commercialization of new products (hence it is important to balancing specificity and enthusiasm). It is a cognitive challenge for the firm to be clear about the level of specificities. There is additional risk to be added to the commercialization process if this is not clearly communicated.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Economics and Business
  • Business Administration


  • NPD, Innovation, commercialization, specificity, enthusiasm
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICICKM 2008
PublisherAcademic Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch
Event5th International Conference on Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning - New York, NY
Duration: 2008 Oct 92008 Oct 10


Conference5th International Conference on Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning