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Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal
Chapter 31: Key Questions on Innovation in the B2B Context
Gerard J. Tellis, Rajesh K. Chandy and Jaideep C. Prabhu Innovation is a critical driver of the improvement in performance of customers, the growth and success of firms and the wealth of nations. Firms need to innovate constantly to offer superior value to their customers or face rivals that do so. Innovation can be in products or processes; in platform, design or component technologies; or in business models. Innovation is as vital in B2B markets as it is in consumer markets. Firms that produce and market to other firms often do so in response to specifications set by end customers. However, in the new intensely competitive marketplace, meeting specifications is no longer adequate. Suppliers need to innovate increasingly to exceed the specifications demanded by their customers or satisfy these specifications at much lower cost. Furthermore, as markets change rapidly, firms must predict the future needs of their customers to meet them in a timely way. Finally, in today’s highly global marketplace, new suppliers arise from numerous developed and emerging economies. Being at the cutting edge of innovation helps ensure that firms can successfully serve their customers and are not made obsolete by competitors with a superior product or better processes. In such a competitive and global environment, although much is known because of extensive research on innovation, several important questions still remain unanswered. This chapter identifies ten major topics in innovation, summarizes the major contributions of and issues in those topics and outlines the following key research questions for the...
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