Technology push is a part of a business strategy of a company. In the innovation literature, there is a distinction between technology push and market pull or demand pull. A technology push implies that a new invention is pushed through R&D, production and sales functions onto the market without proper consideration of whether or not it satisfies a user need. In contrast, an innovation based upon market pull has been developed by the R&D function in response to an identified market need.
The origins of the idea behind the technology push can be sourced to Joseph Schumpeter. In Schumpeter's works there can be found many elements relating to the different hypotheses that have come to be called technology push, monopoly push and demand pull. In the book "The Theory of Economic Development" Schumpeter argued that development was the result of the innovative ability of the entrepreneur and his introduction of new methods of production. However Schumpeter does not explicitly say where these new methods come from. The entrepreneur, it is assumed, simply finds them in the economic system. For Schumpeter, the essential forces behind social and economical changes are innovative technologies. Technology, whether generated outside the economic system or in the large R&D laboratories of a monopolistic competitor, is for Schumpeter the leading engine of growth. Therefore the 'technology push' hypothesis of the origin of innovations finds a natural place in Schumpeter's ideas.
According to Schumpeter, the supply of new technologies is more important than the adaption to existing patterns of demand. Furthermore, only product innovations can lead to the creation of new industries. They are thus more significant than process innovations, which can only lead to the increased efficiency of existing industries.
The origins of the market-pull or demand pull are sourced in the literature to Jacob Schmookler. Nevertheless Schmookler did not argue that demand forces were the only determinants of inventive and innovative activity. He used the example of the two blades of a pair of scissors to represent invention and demand as two interacting forces. However, and probably because he was trying to correct the opposite imbalance, the main emphasis on his work was on demand factors.
The dichotomy of demand pull and technology push is frequently found in the academic literature.
- Martin, Michael J.C. (1994). Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology-based Firms. Wiley-IEEE. p. 44. ISBN 0-471-57219-5.
- Martin, Michael J.C. (1994). Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Technology-based Firms. Wiley-IEEE. p. 43. ISBN 0-471-57219-5.
- Hübner, Heinz; Stefan Jahnes (1998). Management-Technologie als strategischer Erfolgsfaktor (in german). Walter de Gruyter. p. 120. ISBN 3-11-016132-X.
- Coombs, Rod; Paolo Saviotti, Vivien Walsh (1987). Economics and Technological Change. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 95. ISBN 0-8476-7546-7.
- Antonelli, Gilberto; Nicola De Liso (1997). Economics of Structural and Technological Change. Routledge. p. 18. ISBN 0-415-16238-6.
- Coombs, Rod; Paolo Saviotti, Vivien Walsh (1987). Economics and Technological Change. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 94. ISBN 0-8476-7546-7.
- Coombs, Rod; Paolo Saviotti, Vivien Walsh (1987). Economics and Technological Change. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 96. ISBN 0-8476-7546-7.
- Tolfree, David; Mark J. Jackson (2007). Commercializing Micro-Nanotechnology Products. CRC Press. p. 33. ISBN 0-8493-8315-3.