Factors Influencing Industry Adoption of Private-Public Research on Marketing: The Case of the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre
Researchers have widely analysed the economic, managerial, social and psychological drivers of industry adoption of R&D outputs both in the international (e.g. Rogers 2003) and Australian context (e.g. Pannell et al. 2006). Many of these studies have mainly focused on the drivers of industry adoption of technical research, whose value - increasing productivity or decreasing costs within a firm's boundaries - is generally more tangibly perceived by the industry (Pralahad 1993). On the other hand, research has not focused on the drivers of industry adoption of R&D outputs stimulating market development, whose value - identifying and exploiting a market opportunity outside the boundaries of the firm - is usually more uncertain and difficult to be perceived (Pralahad 1993). At the same time, the industry uptake of research for market development is crucial in current agri-food systems, where companies increasingly need to be consumer-responsive in order to sustain their competitive advantage and survive. To attempt to start filling this gap, we explored the factors influencing industry adoption of R&D in marketing by taking a case-based grounded theory approach (Glaser and Strauss 1967; Eisenhardt 1989). Thirty-five market development projects conducted by the Australian Seafood Cooperative Research Centre, in collaboration with a number of industry and research partners, provided the instrumental cases for this study. Although limited to the seafood sector, by comparing and contrasting cases in sub-sectors with very different characteristics (oyster, wild prawn, rock lobster, abalone, tuna, salmon, finfish, sardines, barramundi) this study empirically explores factors related to 1) individual firms' characteristics and capabilities, 2) firms' organization within their industry and with external stakeholders 3) the project scope of the value proposition and industry engagement process. Results show that although individual firms' characteristics and the governance and structure of their industry associations influences the industry uptake, the scope of value proposition and the process of industry engagement are in determining industry uptake. In particular, the focus of consumer/market research, the timely communication among partners and the industry acquisition of market-sensing capabilities are three key elements influencing the industry uptake of the public market development research outputs.
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