The interplay between technology characteristics, R&D internationalization, and new product introduction
Launching new products based on proprietary technologies is the key to success in many firms, but it still represents a big challenge. Accordingly, the factors explaining when technologies are more likely to lead to a marketable product are not fully understood yet, thus calling for further research on this topic. The present paper addresses this issue by focusing on specific characteristics of technologies - i.e., their nature as breakthrough technologies and their generality - which can be considered as suitable predictors of new product introduction (NPI). Specifically, we study if and how owning breakthrough and more pervasive technologies affects the likelihood of NPI. Also, in our research model, we argue that the effects of technology characteristics on NPI are contingent upon the degree of R&D internationalisation. We examine this moderating firm-level factor in a cross-level study design because it is postulated to moderate the effects of technology characteristics on NPI at the technology level. Hypotheses are tested on the basis of a unique and longitudinal sample of 11,385 patents and 1,783 trademarks registered at the USPTO in the energy conservation sector by 696 different companies. Results of hierarchical linear modeling reveal that the likelihood of NPI is positively related to the breakthrough nature of inventions; only when the level of breakthrough nature becomes excessively high this effect turns negative. Instead, the technological generality has a negative influence. Finally, the degree to which firms internationalise R&D activities negatively moderates those relationships.
Joint work with Holger Ernst (WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management); Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli (Politecnico di Bari)
Dr. Lorenzo Ardito is an Assistant Professor of Technology and Innovation Management at the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, also qualified to the position of Associate Professor according to the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research (MIUR). He has been Postdoctoral Researcher at the Polytechnic University of Bari and visiting PhD candidate at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management. His main research interests concern the analysis of the innovative dynamics underlying the development, commercialization, and impact of new technologies, such as green, digital, and bio- technologies. His studies on this topic are made in collaboration with scholars worldwide and have been published in leading international journals (e.g., Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, R&D Management, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, European Management Journal, European Management Review, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management) and conference proceedings. He serves as Guest Editor for many journals (e.g., Journal of Knowledge Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, International Journal and Technology Management, Current Issues in Tourism, Sustainability) and has received several awards for his research activities (e.g., Best Paper Award, Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing, and a research grant from the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder's Scholarship program). Finally, he has been involved with different roles (co-principal investigator, work package coordinator, participant) in international and national applied research projects.