Innovation adoption from the supplier's perspective: Case SmarpShare

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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MSc program in Entrepreneurship
MSc program in Entrepreneurship
Degree programme
The objective of the thesis is to examine how disruptive technological innovations are adopted and further diffused in the customer organizations and what effect the supplier's actions have on the adoption. The thesis aims to incorporate supplier-side factors of innovation adoption together with more traditional adopter-side factors. The goal of the empirical research is to discover if there are factors that can be applied by other startups. The theoretical foundation of the thesis is largely based on disruptive innovation framework by Christensen et al. (e.g. 1997) and is extended with the innovation adoption diffusion literature framework by Rogers (1995). The literature review focuses on disruptive software products. The empirical part of the thesis is conducted as an intensive case study of a Finnish software startup. The primary data was collected by interviewing key people from the case company, their early customer, and an industry expert. The research findings of this study concludes that one of the most important factors of innovation adoption are the perceived characteristics of the innovation. Furthermore, there are some characteristics to which the supplier can directly influence by closely observing and listening the external environment. The more subjective the perceived characteristics of an innovation are, the easier they are to ad- dress than the rest. The relative advantage and compatibility & complexity were identified to best approached by closely working with the potential users. By addressing these, the likelihood of adoption increases. As for the more objective characteristics, the easier it is to obtain results of the new innovation, the higher probability there is for the adoption. Moreover, apart from variables affecting the adopter-side in innovation adoption and further dif- fusion, it's quite clear that the supplier actions have a huge effect as well. A thorough and precise positioning of a new innovation to the target market of potential users can have a huge impact in facilitating user acceptance. Further, the actions taken to reduce the perceived risk as well as gained support from the marketplace indicate greater chance for innovation adoption.
disruptive innovations, diffusion of innovations, innovation adoption, start-up
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