Keywords: market pull, technology push, strategic product innovation, strategy, competencies, future demand, position of the R&, D manager
Beyond Knut Holt's Fusion model, balancing market pull and technology push
Should a firm rely on market pull or on technology push? Some scholars have extreme opinions on this and firms do switch emphasis on push and pull over time. Knut Holt, the first president of ISPIM, presented his so-called Fusion Model in the early 1970s to shed light onto this debate. This paper summarises some insights beyond this early model. We believe, like Holt, in balancing the two. Marketeers should be aware of the technological possibilities of the firm in communicating with the market and R&D should be market-oriented while creating new products as well as developing their (core) technologies. R&D should not develop what the market asks for. Listening to market needs for new products is difficult, if not impossible. For upgrading existing products however, it is a must. Balancing market pull and technology push should not be left to chance or to lower management in the marketing, production or R&D departments. Instead, it should be managed strategically, i.e., at the top level, where the managers of these disciplines meet.