Management of commercialization - Case studies of industrial, business-to-business product innovations

Henri Simula

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Product innovations are the cornerstones of growth and profit in business. One of the main arguments put forward in this dissertation postulates that commercial success is required for a new product to become a product innovation. Commercial success does not happen automatically; it requires the proper management of commercialization. Commercialization within the context of new products is defined as a set of business activities, tasks, and actions that run in parallel with ideation and product development processes and complete them so that a new product can become commercially viable, tradable, and eventually successful on the market. The purpose of this dissertation is to study and understand commercialization within the context of industrial, business-to-business (B2B) product innovations and to develop a new theory for it. A conceptual framework for product innovation is developed and used to support the operationalization of commercialization construct. The empirical part of the dissertation provides practical value derived from empirical case data, which practitioners may use to improve the management of commercialization among industrial B2B firms. The body of knowledge for this study consists of literature on innovation management, product innovation, marketing, R&D management, organizational theory, and business strategy. The literature review revealed that the concepts of innovation, product innovation, and commercialization are all ambiguous and that there are no commonly accepted definitions for them. The concept of commercialization in particular is an undeveloped construct within the context of new products. As a research method, the study makes use of case-study research. The empirical material consists of six within-case studies and a cross-case analysis of them. The B2B case firms under study included Beneq, Exact Tools, KONE, Marioff, Martela, and Vaisala. New theoretical constructs and propositions for the successful management of commercialization are presented based on combining the case studies and the literature. The research revealed that the commercialization of new, industrial B2B products was an unexplored research area. This dissertation aims to fill this research gap. The main findings are presented in nine propositions. In addition, linear thinking during the innovation process should be abandoned and replaced with a new concurrent commercialization framework, which is presented as the concluding result of this dissertation.
Translated title of the contributionKaupallistamisen hallinta - tapaustutkimuksia tuoteinnovaatioista teollisten yritysten välisessä liiketoiminnassa
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Lillrank, Paul, Supervising Professor
  • Lillrank, Paul, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-4791-1
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-4792-8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


  • commercialization
  • innovation management
  • product innovation
  • management of new products
  • industrial business-to-business products
  • product launch
  • concurrent commercialization
  • case studies


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