Purpose – This paper aims to investigate how different trajectories can be detected and classified in business models (BMs) at the level of their underlying product development value-structure (value-creation and appropriation), and what are the drivers. Such BMs are run by multinational firms to accommodate various technologies and innovations; however, this is stressful because of inherent incompatibilities and conflicts.
Design/methodology/approach – An explorative study of six product cases from Du Pont’s Textiles Fiber Division (DTFD), namely, nylon yarns, knits and wovens, DTFD blockbusters, Coolmax®, MicroMattique™, filling materials and Supriva™, is conducted.
Findings – In value-creation, technology push or market pull yields resultant technology-forward or market-back trajectories. For value appropriation, new growth opportunities or continuous market expectations lead to breakthrough or continuous innovations. Consistent and inconsistent combinations of these trajectories yield four differential drivers: technological breakthrough, market-back technology, continuous technology and continuous market-back. This is supported by relevant supply chain strategies, either focused through joint ventures and licensees for commodities or vertically integrated for specialty products.
Research limitations/implications – The paper adds to the analysis of ambidexterity in the value structure of BMs along constituent value-creation and appropriation, thus providing a logical lens to understand various complementarities that exist in terms of opposing technology trajectories and product innovation repertoire.
Practical implications – This study contributes to the knowledge of product innovation management in the textile industry, where both large-scale innovation and operational excellence are challenged over the past few decades.
Originality/value – The lessons learnt address the fundamental issue of higher value generation through configuration of multiple contrasting value-structure elements.
2017. Vol. 21, no 1, 2-26 p.