Purpose – Innovation dynamics have been the object of study of several researchers, focusing in particular on technological innovation and the emergence of a dominant design. However, these models have been challenged by how the pervasiveness of digital technologies is speeding up the pace at which innovation evolves. On the other hand, a growing body of literature in innovation management has started underlining the relevance of new product and service meanings as a source of innovation. Design/methodology/approach – This research aims to study the different innovation dynamics within an industry, investigating not only how companies react to fast-changing functional advancements but rather how their behavior changes as shifts in meaning occur. To properly assess the phenomenon, this longitudinal study analyzes the social media industry, strongly subjected to continuous functional advancements, through a deep dive in the 160 innovations introduced between 2003 and 2017 by the eight leading players in the industry. Findings – Our results illustrate the co-existence of different approaches to innovation within an industry and hint that consequent and fast cycles of innovation in both functionalities and meanings discourage the emergence of a dominant design. Practical implications – Our results help managers and innovators acknowledge the possibility to leverage not just on the technological dimension of innovation but also the reason why people use a given product or service, innovating its meaning. Furthermore, our results recognize the co-existence of different innovation streams upon which innovators can act. Originality/value – This research contributes to the extant literature in innovation management, extending the classical models of innovation dynamics by including the evolution of innovations of meaning in relation to technological innovation.

The evolution of meanings: an empirical analysis of the social media industry

Sanasi, Silvia;Trabucchi, Daniel;Pellizzoni, Elena;Buganza, Tommaso
2021

Abstract

Purpose – Innovation dynamics have been the object of study of several researchers, focusing in particular on technological innovation and the emergence of a dominant design. However, these models have been challenged by how the pervasiveness of digital technologies is speeding up the pace at which innovation evolves. On the other hand, a growing body of literature in innovation management has started underlining the relevance of new product and service meanings as a source of innovation. Design/methodology/approach – This research aims to study the different innovation dynamics within an industry, investigating not only how companies react to fast-changing functional advancements but rather how their behavior changes as shifts in meaning occur. To properly assess the phenomenon, this longitudinal study analyzes the social media industry, strongly subjected to continuous functional advancements, through a deep dive in the 160 innovations introduced between 2003 and 2017 by the eight leading players in the industry. Findings – Our results illustrate the co-existence of different approaches to innovation within an industry and hint that consequent and fast cycles of innovation in both functionalities and meanings discourage the emergence of a dominant design. Practical implications – Our results help managers and innovators acknowledge the possibility to leverage not just on the technological dimension of innovation but also the reason why people use a given product or service, innovating its meaning. Furthermore, our results recognize the co-existence of different innovation streams upon which innovators can act. Originality/value – This research contributes to the extant literature in innovation management, extending the classical models of innovation dynamics by including the evolution of innovations of meaning in relation to technological innovation.
Innovation dynamics, Innovation cycles, Innovation of meaning, Technological innovation, Social media
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1163806
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