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Title:The Timing of Follower Firm Entry Into Related Product Markets
Author(s):Dacko, Scott Girard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sudman, Seymour
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Management
Abstract:This dissertation examines the timing of follower firm adoption of related product markets and assesses to what extent communication theory can be useful in explaining the phenomena. Adoption of a product market is defined here as a firm's entry into the market as indicated by the introduction of its first new product. Related product markets are product markets experiencing growth through pioneering firm entry that are similar to yet somewhat different from the firm's currently adopted markets. Follower firms are those firms that have adopted a given related product market any time after pioneering firms have adopted the same market. This research proposes that follower firms adopting a related product market generally move through a sequence of stages that ultimately lead to the related market's adoption--namely, awareness, interest, evaluation, and adoption of the related product market. It is further proposed that communication theory is useful to identify the important processes that occur at each of these stages and further suggests relationships between certain follower firm characteristics and the time associated with reaching each successive stage of adoption. Drawing upon prior research in the area of communication theory, hypotheses are derived that establish key organizational and product characteristics as potentially influential in decreasing (or increasing) the time it takes follower firms in a given industry to pass through the different stages of adoption of a related product market as a result of facilitating (or hindering) a firm's sensing, processing, deciding, and acting upon information regarding the related product market. The vehicle used for this study is low fat/no fat food product introductions. A sample of food products manufacturers that have adopted the low fat/no fat food product market after pioneering firms have adopted the market is examined. Primary data collected via survey and secondary data collected over the past seven years are used to determine whether the characteristics suggested by communication theory are significant in their hypothesized directional relationships to the firms' adoption stage times. Results indicate that 10 of the 20 hypotheses are supported and seven hypotheses are partially supported, thereby providing general support for a communication-theoretic perspective of the phenomena.
Issue Date:1998
Description:260 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9904428
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:1998

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