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Diversity and superiority in innovation processes
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Centres, Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, CESIS (closed 20110701). JIBS Jönköping International Business School, Sweden .
2005 (English)In: MODSIM05: International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Advances and Applications for Management and Decision Making, Proceedings, 2005, 1056-1062 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A product group consists of product varieties (phenotypes) that compete for the same customer budget. The paper introduces an approach to identifying separate markets by means of product group (genotype) delineation. The paper contrasts two basic ideas for analysing competition within a product group. The first idea relates to Lancaster's suggestion that every product variety can be identified by its attributes or characteristics (L-model). The second idea relates to the monopolistic-competition model as popularised by Krugman (DS-model). With this latter approach, a product group potentially contains a large set of varieties, where customers as a group have a taste for variety. For each of the two paradigms, the paper presents and compares the process by which novel product varieties are introduced. In the framework of Lancaster, evolution tends to reduce the number of varieties due to development of superior alternatives. The Krugman framework rather predicts an evolution where the number of varieties may increase without limits. The contribution of the paper is to contrast the two perspectives, by comparing the change processes and by assessing the adhering equilibrium solutions. A major question is how these two conflicting perspectives should be interpreted. The paper ends by suggesting a framework that can resolve the conflict between the two perspectives. The L-model provides a theoretical framework for how a separated market can be delineated, whereas the DS-model is more ad hoc in this sense. The prime demarcation aspect is however that in the DS-model diversity of products is generated by customers' taste for variety. This must not be interpreted as a case, in which each customer consumes of all varieties at each point in time. A more reasonable interpretation is that a customer during a time period exercises the taste for variety. In contrast, a customer in the L-model purchases two or several varieties only when there is no product available with the desired combination of attributes. Hence, in the L-model the tendency is towards a smaller set of superior varieties. However, heterogeneity among customers will counteract this tendency and generate product diversity in the L-model. The possibility of a superior product variety for each customer group is inherent in the L-model. One may also observe this phenomenon can associated with so-called technology lock-in effects (Arthur, 1989). In order to understand this, we may consider a product group for which an essential feature is mutual compatibility with other product variants. As some variant gets a large market share, the compatibility aspect will be an important attribute with a decisive role in customers' preference functions. This type of feature is completely absent in the DS-model. In the L-model scale economies explain the dynamics when a superior product increases its market share by replacing established products. Scale economies are the driving force behind competitive exclusion. In the DS-model scale economies provide incentives for firms to develop economies of scope and to continue to expand the number of varieties.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. 1056-1062 p.
Keyword [en]
Competitive exclusion, Diversity, Innovation, Superiority, Change process, Driving forces, Economies of scope, Equilibrium solutions, Innovation process, Lock-in, Market share, Preference functions, Product diversity, Product groups, Product variants, Product variety, Scale economies, Theoretical framework, Time-periods, Commerce, Competition, Decision making, Sales, Separation, Customer satisfaction
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-157069ScopusID: 2-s2.0-80053123117ISBN: 0975840002ISBN: 9780975840009OAI: diva2:772368
International Congress on Modelling and Simulation: Advances and Applications for Management and Decision Making, MODSIM05; Melbourne, VIC; Australia; 12 December 2005 through 15 December 2005

QC 20141216

Available from: 2014-12-16 Created: 2014-12-05 Last updated: 2014-12-16Bibliographically approved

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