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Technology, innovation and management
Technology, innovation and management

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5.4 Market (demand) pull

Market or demand pull is, as the term suggests, something of an opposite to the ‘push’ model. ‘The market’ – consumer/customer demand – ‘was the source of ideas for directing R&D which had a merely reactive role in the [innovation] process.’ (Rothwell, 1994, p. 8). The pull process is therefore slightly more complex than the push example, and is still based on the same linear model (Figure 3), but with the addition of market/demand inputs at the R&D and marketing stages.

This ‘second-generation’ model of the innovation process again very much reflects the context in which technological innovation was taking place from the mid 1960s to early 1970s, and thus the economic and social developments of the time. Demand for new products and services remained strong but with intensifying competition between producers, and a change of emphasis in investment in technology. As Rothwell (1994, p. 8) notes, ‘This was accompanied by growing strategic emphasis on marketing, as large and highly efficient companies fought for market share. Perceptions of the innovation process began to change with a marked shift towards emphasising demand side factors, i.e. the market place.’

Figure 3 The second-generation innovation process