Sub-theme 25: Demand-Side Approaches to Value Creation in Technology Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management

Richard Priem
TCU Neeley School of Business, Fort Worth, USA
Gianmario Verona
Bocconi University, Milan, Italy

Call for Papers

Some management scholars researching innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management have begun focusing on the demand side of the value-creation equation rather than on the more commonly examined resource side. These scholars have explored issues such as: the influence of consumer demand on technological innovation and competitive advantage (Adner & Zemsky, 2006; Danneels, 2003; Tripsas, 2008); opportunity signals from consumers (Fischer & Reuber, 2004); users' roles in entrepreneurial innovation (Baldwin, Hienerth & Von Hippel, 2006; Sawhney et al., 2005; Shah & Tripsas, 2007); and consumer-focused strategies for value creation and appropriation (Adner & Snow, 2010; Gruber et al., 2008; Ye et al., 2012), among others. Priem, Li and Carr (2012) provide a recent review of demand-side management literature to date.

Our aim in this sub-theme is to bring together scholars from multiple disciplines who are interested in contributing to this nascent demand-side perspective, and in beginning a bridge with resource-focused work. We welcome conceptual and empirical submissions that clarify issues in technology innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management from a demand-side perspective. We encourage multiple viewpoints and cross-disciplinary dialogue, and actively seek submissions using traditional and non-traditional methods that could include: theory building, case studies, ethnographies, surveys, mathematical models and large-sample quantitative studies, among others. We are committed to providing an atmosphere encouraging extensive interaction and mutual learning among sub-theme participants, plus stimulating and developmental feedback for contributors.

Characteristics of demand-side research typically include: (1) clearly distinguishing between value creation, which is determined by consumers' willingness-to-pay, and value capture, which is determined by market structure and resource ownership (e.g. Priem, 2007); (2) recognizing that consumers' heterogeneity of demand contributes to firm heterogeneity through managers' differing judgments about, and decisions in response to, consumer heterogeneity (e.g. Adner & Snow, 2010); (3) viewing consumer preferences as dynamically changing and sometimes latent (e.g. Kirzner, 1997) and (4) emphasizing product markets as key sources of value-creation for firms, rather than the more common emphasis on resource markets and value capture.

Some of the questions this sub-theme could address include:

  • How are the antecedents and attributes of demand-pull innovations different from technology-driven ones?
  • How can user innovation knowledge be transferred effectively, both within the user community and between the user community and firms?
  • What factors differentiate a user entrepreneur from a lead user, and how might their innovation processes differ? How could particular industry and market contexts encourage or discourage user entrepreneurship?
  • To what extent do initial customers shape the characteristics of new products, and of the start-up firm itself? Do new products become more specialized to meet initial customers' needs, or do nascent entrepreneurs create less-specialized offerings to appeal to a broader spectrum of future customers?
  • What is the role of demand in signaling opportunities to entrepreneurs? Under what conditions are customers and markets more active drivers of the opportunities identified and evaluated by entrepreneurs?
  • What sources of demand-side advantage are available with "everyday" resources, and which of these are most likely to be sustainable?
  • How might multipoint competition function on the demand side? How is the success of a strategic alliance or joint venture affected by the degree to which the partners' products are complements in creating value for a particular market segment? Under what conditions might consumers co-produce value with producers?
  • How could demand-side questions such as these – emphasizing the independent value determinations of heterogeneous consumers – be integrated with previous findings from resource-focused perspectives, thereby bridging resource-focused and demand-side work?



Adner, R. & P. Zemsky (2006): 'A demand-based perspective on sustainable competitive advantage.' Strategic Management Journal, 27, 215–239.
Adner, R. & D. Snow (2010): 'Old Technology responses to new technology threats: Demand heterogeneity and technology retreats.' Industrial and Corporate Change, 19, 1655–1675.
Baldwin, C., C. Hienerth & E. Von Hippel (2006): 'How user innovations become commercial products: A theoretical investigation and case study.' Research Policy, 35, 1291–1313.
Danneels, E. (2003): 'Tight-loose coupling with customers: The enactment of customer orientation.' Strategic Management Journal, 24, 559–576.
Fischer, E. & R.A. Reuber (2004): 'Contextual antecedents and consequences of relationships between young firms and distinct types of dominant exchange partners.' Journal of Business Venturing, 5, 681–706.
Gruber, M., I. MacMillan & J. Thompson (2008): 'Look before you leap: Market opportunity identification in emerging technology firms.' Management Science, 54, 1652–1665.
Kirzner, I.M. (1997): 'Entrepreneurial discovery and the competitive market process: An Austrian approach.' Journal of Economic Literature, 35, 60–85.
Priem, R.L. (2007): 'A consumer perspective on value creation.' Academy of Management Review, 32, 219–235.
Priem, R.L., S. Li & J. Carr (2012): 'Insights and new directions from demand-side approaches to technology innovation, entrepreneurship and strategic management research.' Journal of Management, 38, 346–374.
Sawhney, M., G. Verona & E. Prandelli (2005): 'Collaborating to create: the Internet as a platform for customer engagement in product innovation.' Journal of Interactive Marketing, 19, 4–17.
Shah, S.K. & M. Tripsas (2007): 'The accidental entrepreneur: the emergent and collective process of user entrepreneurship.' Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 1, 123–140.
Tripsas, M. (2008): 'Customer preference discontinuities: a trigger for radical technological change.' Managerial and Decision Economics, 29, 79–97.
Ye, G., R.L. Priem & A. Alshwer (2011): 'Achieving demand-side synergy from strategic diversification: How combining mundane assets can leverage consumer utilities.' Organization Science, 23, 207–224.


Richard Priem is Professor of Management at the TCU Neeley School of Business, Fort Worth, USA, where he holds the Luther Henderson Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership. He also is professor of management at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, Italy, where he holds the Terna Chair in Business Ethics. His research interests include strategic decision making, corporate governance, demand-side strategies and top management fraud. He has published in academic journals such as the 'Academy of Management Journal', 'Academy of Management Review', 'Journal of Management', 'Organization Science' and 'Strategic Management Journal', and serves on several editorial boards.
Gianmario Verona is Professor of Management and Director of the Master in Business Adinistration (MBA) program at Bocconi University, Italy. He researches dynamic capabilities, knowledge integration, and user innovation. He has published several books, and in 'Academy of Management Review', 'Organization Studies', 'Industrial and Corporate Change' and 'Journal of Product Innovation Management', and serves multiple editorial boards.