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Journal Articles European Journal of Innovation Management Year : 2021

Intergenerational hybrid products in periods of discontinuous change


Purpose This study examines the role of hybrid products employed in companies' innovation strategy within three American industrial sectors: tires, typewriters and photography cameras. Design/methodology/approach The authors selected historical cases that enabled us to present the role of hybrid products in periods of discontinuous change. Different sources are employed in this study: papers, books, cases, working papers, videos, manuals and product catalogues, companies' annual reports, company websites, advertising, collectors' websites and museums, in addition to press and other media reports. Findings The authors’ historical case analysis points to two forms of hybrid products. (1) Exploitation-hybrid, which incorporates significant elements from the existing dominant design and aims at extending the revenue-generating opportunities of the existing products. (2) Exploration-hybrid, which works as an offensive strategy, as the firm uses the exploration-hybrid to promote a gradual and controlled adoption of new technology by reducing risks and the cost of change for the customer. Research limitations/implications The authors’ proposed definitions strengthen the idea that hybrids are not only a reflection of organizational inertia (exploitation-hybrid). Hybrids can also mean a more proactive stance in the strategy of developing and adopting new technology (exploration-hybrid). Originality/value This study acknowledged hybrid products as a learning instrument that materialized the organizational ambidexterity, favoring at the same time exploitation, generally attributed to organizational inertia, and the exploration of new segments of customers or the use of new technologies.
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Dates and versions

hal-03697374 , version 1 (16-06-2022)



Wilian Gatti Junior, Alceu Salles Camargo Junior, Paul Varella. Intergenerational hybrid products in periods of discontinuous change. European Journal of Innovation Management, 2021, 25 (3), pp.860-880. ⟨10.1108/EJIM-10-2020-0438⟩. ⟨hal-03697374⟩
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