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Assessing the Lead Market Potential of Countries for Innovation Projects


  • Marian Beise

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Thomas Cleff

    (Pforzheim University of Applied Scienses, Germany)


This paper presents an approach to assessing the potential of countries to increase the likelihood that locally preferred innovation designs become successful in other countries, too. The concept suggests that for many innovations lead markets exist that initiate the international diffusion of a specific design of an innovation. Once a specific innovation design has been adopted by users in the lead market chances are that it subsequently becomes adopted by users in other countries as well. Lead markets can be utilised for the development of global innovation designs. By focusing on the design of the innovation which responds to the preferences within the lead market, a company can leverage the success experienced in the lead market for global market launch. In order to follow a lead market strategy of new product development, it is necessary to assess the lead market potential of countries before an innovation is developed and tested in the market. This paper presents an indicator-based methodology that approximates the lead market attributes of countries. This assessment methodology was applied to two innovation projects at the truck division of DaimlerChrysler AG. The method produces information that is of importance for the development phase and the market launch of globally standardised innovations.

Suggested Citation

  • Marian Beise & Thomas Cleff, 2003. "Assessing the Lead Market Potential of Countries for Innovation Projects," Discussion Paper Series 142, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:142

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric von Hippel, 1986. "Lead Users: A Source of Novel Product Concepts," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(7), pages 791-805, July.
    2. Rennings, Klaus & Beise, Marian, 2003. "Lead Markets of Environmental Innovations: A Framework for Innovation and Environmental Economics," ZEW Discussion Papers 03-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Antonelli, Cristiano, 1986. "The international diffusion of new information technologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 139-147, June.
    4. Dekimpe, M.G. & Parker, P.M. & Sarvary, M., 1997. ""Globalization": Modeling Technology Adoption Timing Across Countries," INSEAD 97/75, INSEAD, Centre for the Management of Environmental Resources. The European Institute of Business Administration..
    5. Deaton,Angus & Muellbauer,John, 1980. "Economics and Consumer Behavior," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521296762, March.
    6. Mariko Sakakibara & Michael E. Porter, 2001. "Competing At Home To Win Abroad: Evidence From Japanese Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 310-322, May.
    7. Swan, Philip L, 1973. "The International Diffusion of an Innovation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 61-69, September.
    8. Vernon, Raymond, 1979. "The Product Cycle Hypothesis in a New International Environment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 41(4), pages 255-267, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cleff, Thomas & Grimpe, Christoph & Rammer, Christian, 2007. "The role of demand in innovation: A lead market analysis for high-tech industries in the EU-25," ZEW Dokumentationen 07-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Thomas Cleff & Klaus Rennings, 2014. "Are There Any First And Second Mover Advantages For Eco-Pioneers? Lead Market Strategies For Environmental Innovation," Interdisciplinary Management Research, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics, Croatia, vol. 10, pages 164-189.
    3. Thomas Cleff & Klaus Rennings, 2011. "Theoretical and Empirical Evidence of Timing-to-Market and Lead Market Strategies for Successful Environmental Innovation," Discussion Papers dp11-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    4. Thomas Cleff & Christoph Grimpe & Christian Rammer, 2009. "Customer - Driven Innovation in the Electrical, Optical and ICT Industry," Interdisciplinary Management Research, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics, Croatia, vol. 5, pages 651-682.
    5. Beise, Marian, 2004. "Lead markets: country-specific drivers of the global diffusion of innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6-7), pages 997-1018, September.

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    Innovation; Global Diffusion; Market Entry;


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