Commoditization measurement for sustainable innovation: A holistic evaluation technique

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Mahnke, T., Stelzer, B., & Brecht, L. (2017). Commoditization measurement for sustainable innovation: A holistic evaluation technique. Paper presented at the The XXVIII Innovation Conference. Composing the Innovation Symphony, Vienna, Austria.


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Existing research shows that customers perceive products as interchangeable and leads to price wars, market stagnation and increasing competition. This phenomenon is called commoditization and evolves in the industrial goods sector. A survey in the manufacturing and plant engineering shows that commoditization effects 63 % of the companies. Hence, managing commoditization is a key challenge to achieve competitive advantage. The identification of product's commoditization level enables sustainable strategic decision making in this context. This research aims to answer the following question: How can managers extensively measure the commoditization level of their products from customer's perception? Initially, literature reviews and focus group discussions identified relevant dimensions and characteristics of commoditization. Subsequently, 22 experts from different companies in the industrial goods sector validated the dimensions and their characteristically statements within a survey study. The results are the basis for developing a questionnaire for evaluating the commoditization level from customers' perception.



  • Institut für Entrepreneurship
  • Lehrstuhl für Entrepreneurship und Technologie

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