IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A dynamic model of process and product innovation


  • Utterback, James M
  • Abernathy, William J


This article reports results from empirical tests of relationships between the pattern of innovation within a firm and certain of the firm's characteristics: the stage of development of its production process and its chosen basis of competition. The hypothesized relationships posed for the present investigation are a synthesis of prior research by the present authors on two distinct but complementary conceptual models of innovation, concerning respectively: the relationship between competitive strategy and innovation, and the relationship between production process characteristics and innovation. The empirical investigation is carried out with data available from the Myers and Marquis study of successful technological innovation in five different industry segments. The essential aspects of the hypothesized relationships are that the characteristics of the innovative process will systematically correspond with the stage of development exhibited by the firm's production process technology and with its strategy for competition and growth. As a more specific example these relationships predict that there will be coherent patterns in the stimuli for innovation (market, production or new technology); in the types of innovation (product or process, original or adopted, etc.) and in barriers to innovation. The presently reported statistical evidence is decidedly favorable to the hypothesized relationships, even though the adaptations needed to implement tests with existing data introduce dependencies that limit conclusions which would otherwise be warranted. The broad implication is that strong and important relationships exist among the capability of a firm to innovate, its competitive strategy and the posture of its production resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Utterback, James M & Abernathy, William J, 1975. "A dynamic model of process and product innovation," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 3(6), pages 639-656, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:3:y:1975:i:6:p:639-656

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:3:y:1975:i:6:p:639-656. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.