Beyond the inflection point: how and why individuals promote inventions in Japan

Miikka J. Lehtonen*, Ainomaija Haarla, Masaaki Kotabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While Japan is one of the most innovative countries in the world, it has experienced a prolonged stagnant economic growth in the last 20 years. The development of new products and/or services has become critical for future economic growth. However, we know little about how individuals disseminate and legitimize inventions for new product and/or service development in Japan. This paper bridges this gap by looking at how and why material scientists, architects, and designers promote new inventions in Japan. We identified three novel roles (initiator, integrator, and interpreter) individuals take upon themselves to legitimize new uses for raw materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-529
Number of pages25
JournalAsian Business and Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Innovation dynamics
  • Invention diffusion
  • Japan
  • Promoter roles
  • University–industry relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Strategy and Management


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