• The relationship between demand pull attention and radical product innovation: Evidence through computer-aided text analysis

      Biehl, Esther; Fehre, Kerstin; Tietze, Marco (2018)
      This study updates the discussion on demand-pull attention as a source of radical product innovation. Demand-pull attention shows an ex ante alignment with market characteristics and needs as opposed to pushing resources toward markets. The authors suggest a holistic framework and specify three dimensions of demand-pull attention: anticipated or revealed market demand, market environment, and external economic environment. Based on a large German longitudinal panel consisting of 941 firm-year observations from 2003 to 2013, the authors conceptualized the measurement of demand-pull dimensions’ attention and radical product innovation using computer-aided text analysis of annual reports. The authors analyzed the relationship between the attention that a firm pays to different demand-pull dimensions and the firm’s strategic intention to radically innovate; thus, the authors actually focused on the cognitive sources of radical product innovations. This chapter suggests that radical product innovation activities are positively driven by attention toward the market environment and market demand orientation. However, the hypothesis, which assumed a negative relationship between attention toward the external economic environment and radical innovation, could not be significantly confirmed. This demands a closer look into the underlying decision processes of firms when deciding on radical product innovations. With the theoretical grounding on the attention-based view of the firm, the authors contribute to a better understanding of the role that organizational cognition plays in innovation processes.