Supplier Innovation Push


Suppliers pushing innovations to their buyers face the challenge of determining when and how these innovations should be offered. This study examines which factors affect suppliers’ decisions about when to involve customers in their new product development process and offers best practices for suppliers pushing innovations to their customers. Using a qualitative case study approach, we find that suppliers’ timing strategies are affected by four motivating factors and two moderating variables. The quality of the relationship with the buying firm and the buying firm’s absorptive capacity determine the likelihood of a successful supplier innovation push. Suppliers can maximize results of innovation push efforts by avoiding buying firms’ purchasing departments, building personal networks within target firms, and raising the buying firm’s commitment to the innovation process.