When conceptualising new product launch activities, most authors focused on activities aimed at overcoming customer resistance. As such a perspective neglects obstacles arising from the resistance of other stakeholders, this study proposes to explicitly consider stakeholder theory when developing a concept of launch activities. In addition to providing a conceptual rationale, the performance effects of such launch activities are investigated. While the direct performance effects of strategic and tactical launch activities were largely investigated in previous studies, indirect performance effects have received less attention. This study considers the interdependencies between strategic, internally and externally, directed tactical launch activities and investigates both direct and indirect performance effects. The analysis is based upon data from 113 technological innovations launched in industrial markets. The launch strategy and tactics addressing resistance of customers, market players and parties from the broader firm environment are found to have a direct impact on market success. The launch strategy also drives both internally and externally directed launch tactics. For launch tactics that address frontline personnel resistance, no direct performance effect is found. Yet these internally directed tactics enable more proficient externally directed launch tactics and drive performance indirectly.
International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2009, Vol 4, Issue 2-3, p. 248-274