Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Copenhagen Business School, Department of Informatics

No 2005-1: A Four-Dimensional Product Innovativeness Typology

Axel Rosenø
Additional contact information
Axel Rosenø: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Postal: Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School, Howitzvej 60 , DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Abstract: Product innovativeness is a key moderating variable for the study of innovation management (Song & Montoya-Weiss 1998, p. 124). For this reason, some empirical studies of innovation management examine new product processes, critical success factors, and market learning practices for incremental versus discontinuous new product projects (Song & Montoya-Weiss 1998; Atuahene-Gima 1995; Veryzer 1998a; Lynn et al. 1996; O’Connor 1998; Rice et al. 1998). By looking at both these types of new product development projects, empirical observations are likely to be more realistic than those of studies that do not discriminate between more or less innovative projects. Even so, a dualistic view of the matter does not capture the nuances (Green et al.1995)1 of the relationship between product innovativeness and innovation management practices. Hence, there is a need for richer innovativeness typologies that go beyond the dichotomous view and, thereby, lend themselves to a more finegrained study of innovation management practices for different types of new product projects. In fact, various innovativeness typologies exist that include more than two product types. Notably, the typology by Booz, Allen & Hamilton (1982)2 introduces two dimensions: newness to the market and newness to the company, resulting in six products types (with various combinations of high, medium and low newness). An alternative set of typologies differentiates between the product’s technological newness and its market newness, for example Abernathy & Clark’s (1985) typology with four new product types; Leonard-Barton’s (1995) five product types; and Veryzer’s (1998a) four types in a two-by-two matrix. Interestingly, these two meta-perspectives on product innovativeness (i.e. 1. new to the market and/or new to the company and 2. technological and/or market newness) are generally not included within the same typology in extant literature. For example, discussions of the technological and/or market newness of a product, often leave out the question of whether that newness is in the eyes of the industry and market (exogenous newness) or only for the focal firm itself (endogenous newness). More broadly, it can be stated that “…little continuity exists in the new product literature regarding from whose perspective this degree of newness is viewed and what is new (Garcia & Calantone 2002, p. 112).

Keywords: None

JEL-codes: O30

86 pages, September 19, 2005

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