Original Research

‘It’s a natural drift alright’: From needs-based demand to technology-driven demand in business

Peter Stone, Geoff A. Goldman, Peta Thomas
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1143 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1143 | © 2023 Peter Stone, Geoff A. Goldman, Peta Thomas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 March 2023 | Published: 30 June 2023

About the author(s)

Peter Stone, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Geoff A. Goldman, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Peta Thomas, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: It is apparent that the conventional view of business ideas being born out of the needs of society is being re-conceptualised with the introduction of new technologies and as the business environment increases in complexity.

Research purpose: This study set out to understand how rapid advances in technology have impacted the basic assumptions for business demand, as expressed in, for example, van der Heijden’s Business Idea model, and to comprehend how these assumptions have changed over time.

Motivation for the study: This study stems from an intention to comprehend how technology has become a creator of demand.

Research design, approach and method: An interpretive, grounded theory approach was followed, soliciting views from 14 senior-level managers of a global, technology-driven company by using semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analysed using a three-stage coding process. This involves subjecting data to open coding, axial coding, and selective coding.

Main findings: The analytic process revealed four themes: (1) business and demand, (2) business competitiveness, (3) technology and society and (4) technology and customers. Engagement with these themes revealed that technology is changing the nature of business models, business strategy and business processes. The pace of technological development has given rise to dynamic marketplace changes, where companies use new technologies to develop innovative product offerings that lead to more dynamic business models, processes and structures. In so doing, technology has become a driver of demand.

Practical/Managerial implications: Business leaders should take note that technological changes have a potential impact on the future strategy of companies, as this requires an alignment of these changes with supporting business processes.

Contribution/Value-add: With cognisance of the central role technology is playing in the contemporary business environment, as a driver of demand, this study proposes a technology-driven demand (TDD) framework, as a re-evaluation of van der Heijden’s Business Idea model.


Keywords

technology; demand; innovation; business model; disruption.

JEL Codes

M11: Production Management; O32: Management of Technological Innovation and R&D; O33: Technological Change: Choices and Consequences • Diffusion Processes

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Metrics

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Total article views: 1074


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