Purpose The concept of positional innovation - as one of the four innovation types of the Francis and Bessant's "4P's" model - is an effective product innovation strategy for producers of mature and credence goods as food products are. Despite the acknowledgement as one of the major industries worldwide, positional innovations about the food products are underexplored in the managerial literature. To fill this gap, this paper first develops a theoretical analysis of the concepts. Then, by adopting a case-study research methodology, it discloses the way a bakery small enterprise manages positional innovation. Theoretical and practical implications are finally introduced and discussed. Design/methodology/approach After a literature review about the role and the characteristics of the positional innovation, the paper presents a case study of definition and implementation of managerial actions and initiatives driven by positional innovation. The aim is not to report on an inductive study, but to use this example as a picture to clarify theory and show how the various conceptual issues may be operatively applied and provide more contextual insights. Findings It emerges how a small food enterprise manages positional innovation to survive and compete in the national and international markets; the positional innovation sources are tapped into culture, social responsibility, tradition and other territorial assets of tangible and intangible nature, effectively combined to innovate the product perception and/or the utility in a use context. Originality/value "Non-technological", simple products, like food, are underexplored and rarely seen as relevant context to investigate along the strategic and innovation management literature. Nonetheless, positional innovation is a perspective that values and credits the innovation efforts of small food products, revealing interesting managerial concepts and inspiring entrepreneurs and managers for activating and sustaining new strategies of innovation for their businesses.

Managing positional innovation in small food enterprises. The bakery industry

Linzalone, R;Lerro, A
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose The concept of positional innovation - as one of the four innovation types of the Francis and Bessant's "4P's" model - is an effective product innovation strategy for producers of mature and credence goods as food products are. Despite the acknowledgement as one of the major industries worldwide, positional innovations about the food products are underexplored in the managerial literature. To fill this gap, this paper first develops a theoretical analysis of the concepts. Then, by adopting a case-study research methodology, it discloses the way a bakery small enterprise manages positional innovation. Theoretical and practical implications are finally introduced and discussed. Design/methodology/approach After a literature review about the role and the characteristics of the positional innovation, the paper presents a case study of definition and implementation of managerial actions and initiatives driven by positional innovation. The aim is not to report on an inductive study, but to use this example as a picture to clarify theory and show how the various conceptual issues may be operatively applied and provide more contextual insights. Findings It emerges how a small food enterprise manages positional innovation to survive and compete in the national and international markets; the positional innovation sources are tapped into culture, social responsibility, tradition and other territorial assets of tangible and intangible nature, effectively combined to innovate the product perception and/or the utility in a use context. Originality/value "Non-technological", simple products, like food, are underexplored and rarely seen as relevant context to investigate along the strategic and innovation management literature. Nonetheless, positional innovation is a perspective that values and credits the innovation efforts of small food products, revealing interesting managerial concepts and inspiring entrepreneurs and managers for activating and sustaining new strategies of innovation for their businesses.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/174916
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