A study of new product market search and user adoption

  • Michael W. Commander

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The research was carried out in the Aviation Division of Dunlop Limited and was initiated as a search for more diverse uses for carbon/carbon composites. An assumed communication model of adoption was refined by introducing the concept of a two way search after making cross industry comparisons of
    supplier and consumer behaviour.
    This research has examined methods of searching for new uses for advanced technology materials. Two broad approaches were adopted. First, a case history approach investigated materials that had been in a similar oosition to carbon/carbon to see how other material producing firms had tackled the
    problem. Second, a questionnaire survey among industrialists examined: the role and identity of material decision makers in different sized firms; the effectiveness of various information sources and channels; and the material adoption habits of different industries.
    The effectiveness of selected information channels was further studied by monitoring the response to publicity given to carbon/carbon.
    A flow chart has been developed from the results of this research which should help any material producing firm that is contemplating the introduction of a new material to the world market.
    Further benefit to our understanding of the innovation and adoption of new materials would accrue from work in the followino areas: "micro" type case histories; understanding more fully the role of product champions or promoters; investigating the phase difference between incremental and radical type innovations for materials; examining the relationship between the adoption rate of new materials and the advance of technology; studying the development of cost per unit function methods for material selection; and reviewing the benefits
    that economy of scale studies can have on material developments. These are all suggested areas for further work.
    Date of AwardDec 1978
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorS.A. Gregory (Supervisor)


    • materials
    • innovation
    • case histories
    • communication
    • adoption
    • organisational behaviour
    • decision

    Cite this