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Title:Technology Management Within Product Lines in High Technology Markets
Author(s):Sarangee, Kumar R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Agarwal, Rajshree
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Adminstration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Marketing
Business Administration, Entrepreneurship
Abstract:Understanding the nuances of product line management has been of great interest to business scholars and practitioners. This assumes greater significance for firms conducting business in technologically dynamic industries, where they face certain challenges regarding the management of multiple, overlapping technologies within their product lines. Hence, firms have to devise appropriate product line technology strategies regarding which technology or mix of technologies to adopt and offer in their product lines so as to maximize their chances of survival. To gain deeper insight into such challenges, I investigate strategic technology management within product lines and specifically focus on the growth stage of high technology markets, where these challenges are exacerbated by the dynamic nature and the rapid rate of growth of these markets.
In "Product Line Management and Firm Performance in High Technology Markets," I empirically characterize what types of time varying product line technology strategies are typically followed by firms in high technology markets. I also look at which of these product line technology strategies can lead to higher likelihood of survival of firms. Empirical results confirm the importance of making appropriate technology management decisions in addition to other product line decisions such as length and pricing. But the most interesting result of this study is that there is no significant difference between popular and advanced technologies for the survival and performance of firms. This is critically important because while most studies have emphasized on the importance of advanced technologies, there is no such unanimity in thought related to popular technologies. Hence, this study confirms and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a popular technology in product lines. Additionally, most firms who explicitly follow a strategy perform better than firms who follow an inert strategy of no change in response to the environment. Finally, the composition of the portfolio is very important and a "good" mix needs at least an advanced and popular technology to increase the probability of survival. The study thereby emphasizes the importance of technology management, especially the value of popular technologies in addition to advanced technologies. It thus enables us to gain a better understanding of why some firms entering technologically turbulent milieus fail when, at the same time, other firms survive and flourish.
In "Firm Characteristics as a Determinant of Product Line Strategies in High Technology Markets," I empirically explore whether different types of firms are more likely to follow different types of product line technology strategies and if so, what would be the theoretical rationale behind their decisions. Along the lines of the existing literature, I take a look at pre-entry experience and size together as the defining characteristics which might influence different firms to follow one strategy over another. The context of examination is the technologically dynamic United States Personal Computer industry from 1979-1994. The results reveal very interesting asymmetries between the product line strategies followed by heterogeneous firms, which have theoretical and substantive significance. Importantly, the findings of this study make it obvious that the characteristics of a firm do indeed determine its choice of product line strategy. Finally the findings also highlight the importance of managers understanding the actual reasons behind pursuit of these strategies so that they can make better product line decisions and enhance their survival prospects and performance.
Issue Date:2009
Description:148 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI3392464
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:2009

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