This study aims to identify key factors for design management. Choosing two design-oriented consumer electronics companies, we compare their designer networks by using dataset of design patents. The result shows that designer organizations have significant structural differences, which suggests that the two companies follow different organizational policies according to their design strategies. The evidence indicates the followings: (i) a dense network of designers is effective to share implicit knowledge among designers and to create integrated product designs, and (ii) a sparse network of designers is easy to keep independence of designer teams and design productivity by concurrent development and design differentiation in their product portfolio.
Previous researches have shown that social activity groups can affect new market creation through persuasion strategies: they persuade companies to adopt new behaviors through companies’ primary stakeholders, and the diffusion of new behaviors can create new markets. While previous researches have focused on pathways to influencing companies’ behaviors, they have not discussed contents of their persuasion strategy. How can social activity groups select a target, requirements, and framing of their persuasion strategy? Since those activity groups are peripheral to an existing industry, it is difficult for them to know a potential target, acceptable requirements and how to frame their requirements effectively. This study suggests that social activity groups can adjust contents of their persuasion strategy by learning from reactions of companies and primary stakeholders to their behaviors. To illustrate this proposition, we explore the diffusion of shoe-fitting service among shoe retailers. The diffusion of the shoe-fitting service has triggered the creation of a foot-health market in the shoe industry. In the 1980s, the Japan Institute of Footwear (JIF) began to proclaim the importance of shoe fitting and promoted its shoe-fitter training program. The JIF employed a process of adjusting contents of its strategy, based on reactions of companies and their primary stakeholders.
In this study, we point out that the recent discussion on the first-mover advantage is dominated by the context of environmental determinism. We examine the first-mover advantage by using the structuration theory of technological system introduced by Kato (2011). By exploring the market creation process of electric assist bicycles, we demonstrate that differences in the structural influence can be observed in a first mover company involved in structure formation and a late-mover company that accepts the structure as given. Additionally, we bring up that the controversy surrounding first-mover and late-mover advantages can be expanded into the field of non-market strategies.
In this study, we demonstrate that two strategies exist in the mobile game industry: dispersion strategy and concentration strategy. In the former case, firms supply many differentiated products, whereas in the latter case, firms supply only a few products. The concentration strategy performs well in terms of the level and stability of revenues; the dispersion strategy, in contrast, depends on only a few products regardless of revenues. Although the dispersion strategy is more common in the entertainment industry for the purpose of stabilizing revenues, the concentration strategy could be a possible alternative in the mobile game industry. The result of this study can be interpreted as characteristics of freemium, where network externality works well.
A new business often faces unpredictable social and legal issues. Sometimes entrepreneurs need to claim the legitimacy of a new business. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that providing a service without charge is a useful way to legitimatize a new business. Analyzing the case of introducing Google StreetView to Japan, the author found that a free service could prevent from creating a complicated business plan more than necessary and clarify issues that entrepreneur should deal with at first.