Magazine article Journal of Services Research

Cross-Products Technology Spillover in Inducing a Self-Propagating Dynamism for the Shift to a Service Oriented Economy: Lessons from High-Performance Fine Ceramics

Magazine article Journal of Services Research

Cross-Products Technology Spillover in Inducing a Self-Propagating Dynamism for the Shift to a Service Oriented Economy: Lessons from High-Performance Fine Ceramics

Article excerpt

(ProQuest-CSA LLC: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Corresponding to a paradigm shift from an industrial society to an information society, switching from manufacturing technology (MT) driven 'growth-oriented trajectory' (which achieves economic growth leveraged by high economic growth) to information technology (IT) driven 'functionality-initiated trajectory' (which maintains sustainable growth based on development of new functionality) is expected (Watanabe et al., 2005). However, substance of the mechanism facilitating this switching has still remained a black box.

Innovation of high materials is the basis of the development of the next-generation industry and fine ceramics are expected to lead a way for this innovation as they are invented with carefully refined and synthesized raw materials by sophisticated manufacturing process. As a consequence of such invention, fine ceramics have exhibited rapid development through substituting for a broad range of materials, both high-performance materials and structural materials. However, contrary to a remarkable development of the fine ceramics as high performance materials, structural materials have experienced stagnating trends. This contrast can be attributed to the differences of functionality between two materials which are quite similar to the contrasting development trajectories between IT and MT. This observation prompts us a hypothetical view that 'fine ceramics with higher function and wider utilization would perform self-propagating growth by instilling new functionality in the process of their growth'. While fine ceramics as structural materials exhibit stagnating trend, careful comparative analysis of these ceramics by utilization pattern exhibits that one particular fine ceramics demonstrate exceptionally dramatic increase in its production in recent years. This observation prompts us the second hypothetical view that 'certain function spilled-over from high-performance fine ceramics to the structural fine ceramics'. Given the active interactions of the researchers between R&D in both ceramics, the third hypothetical view is that 'This spillover can be attributed to the interactions of researchers involved in two research fields' can be prompted.

These findings urged us to analyze honeycomb structure ceramics (HSC) which exhibit high-performance while with structural materials function and used in broad fields since the middle 1970s by developing new utilization fields in a self-propagating manner. This analysis prompts us the fourth hypothetical view that 'interactions of researchers stimulate cross-products technology spillover also for broad dissemination of utilization leading to a self-propagating growth'.

Through this analysis it could be identified that by means of researchers active interactions, functionality could spill-over from fine ceramics as high-performance materials to fine ceramics as structured materials, and these stagnating fine ceramics could accomplish self-propagating development. These findings can provide new insight to an elucidation of a mechanism in facilitating a switching from MT driven growth-oriented trajectory to IT driven functionality-initiated trajectory.

While a few works include a comparative analysis of the development trajectory between MT and IT, none have taken the cross-products technology spillover perspective leading to provide a confident road-map toward a switching from MT driven growth-oriented trajectory to IT driven functionality-initiated trajectory. This paper, on the basis of an empirical analysis of the development trajectories of Japan's ceramics over the last quarter century attempts to demonstrate the foregoing hypothetical view essential for the foregoing road-map.

The next section demonstrates the self-propagating diffusion trajectory in high-performance innovation. There are identify the mechanism in instilling new functionality. It is followed by an analysis of self-propagating dynamism of high-performance innovation. …

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