Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The ability to see beyond the boundaries of disciplines and industries is crucial in building new product markets

17.12.2007
MSc (Econ.) Tiina Ritvala defends her doctoral thesis in the area of international business with the title “Actors and Institutions in the Emergence of a New Field: A Study of the Cholesterol-Lowering Functional Foods Market” at the Helsinki School of Economics on Wednesday December 19th, 2007.

Rapid scientific and technological progress has resulted in the blurring of traditional industry boundaries and in the emergence of new product markets at the intersection of established industries. Ritvala’s doctoral research examines actors and institutions in a new market from the perspective of their interaction at the intersection of industries and geographical regions.

Ritvala explores the topic through the emergence of cholesterol-lowering functional foods, such as the plant sterol margarines of Raisio Group and Unilever. The regular use of such foods has been scientifically proved to reduce cholesterol and, hence, improve heart health. This innovation combines the food, pharmaceuticals and forest industries. In her doctoral research Ritvala concentrates in Finland and the U.S., where succeeding with functional foods have been particularly challenging. The research is mainly based on a wide range of interviews carried out with key researchers in the field, managers, authorities as well as associations and societies.

The dissertation research investigates the institutional change in the perceived relationship between dietary cholesterol and heart disease since the scientific research of the 1950s and the North Karelia project of the 1970s. The focus of the research is the later cross-industry cooperation in the cholesterol-lowering food innovation and its commercialization.

The results of the study imply that individual scientists are in a key position to create novel cross-disciplinary and cross-industry knowledge, which may release the old beliefs and create a legitimate base for a new market. The emergence of a new field is, however, a complex phenomenon which necessitates the participation of a wide range of actors. The study reveals that a brilliant invention or product does not sell by itself, but necessitates a broad base of support, the mobilisation of which appears to be tightly connected to the institutional structures of a particular time and space and power relations between industries. Instead of wrong strategic decisions stressed earlier, particularly established care practices were central in explaining the weak demand for the European cholesterol-lowering functional foods in the U.S. where the role of the pharmaceuticals industry is extremely strong. Hence, an actor in a new market must be able to assess institutional differences between host and home markets.

In contrast to the strong tendency of specialization in the development of societies, this research implies that a broad cross-disciplinary understanding at individual-level contributes to innovativeness at the intersection of established industries and disciplines. This result seems to point towards an interpretation that a broad individual-level perspective caused by limited resources is the strength of small countries and organisations. Ritvala urges management to encourage cross-disciplinary and cross-industry cooperation and to analyse institutional differences between markets during internationalisation.

Terhi Ollikainen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.hse.fi

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung

nachricht Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>