Purpose: Sustainable functionality development (FD) is decisive to firm's profitability in their new innovation in a competitive market. While functionality instills attractive values in innovative goods leading to a dramatic increase in profit through increasing demand and higher prices, it obsolesces immediately in a competitive market. Therefore, how to maintain sustainable FD trajectory is decisive to firm survival strategy within the context of mega‐competition in a globalizing economy. Notwithstanding an increasing significance of this subject, dynamism enabling a sustainable FD trajectory still remains inside a black box. The purpose of this paper, on the basis of an empirical comparative analysis of the diffusion trajectories for copying machines developed by Canon and Ricoh, is to attempt to elucidate this dynamism. Design/methodology/approach: This paper employed a bi‐logistic growth model utilizing patent data for copying machine technologies. Findings: It was found that early undertaking of 2nd generational copying machinery initiated by Canon played a more decisive role in terms of its higher level of sustainable FD than with its competitor. Originality/value: This paper provides significant insight to firm's management of technology strategy in a competitive market.
Journal of Advances in Management Research – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 2008
Keywords: Functional specialization; Product innovation; Photocopiers; Business development; Patents; Japan