Publikation

Drivers and consequences of narrative transportation: Understanding the role of stories and domain-specific skills in improving radically new products

Outline:

F. Schweitzer, E. van den Hende - Drivers and consequences of narrative transportation: Understanding the role of stories and domain-specific skills in improving radically new products - JOURNAL OF PRODUCT INNOVATION MANAGEMENT, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2017, pp. 101-118

Abstract:

This article investigates the role of transportation in concept tests (i.e., a vivid mental image of a new product concept and the way of using it) for radically new products. Based on transportation literature, the article proposes that concept descriptions in a story format can stimulate transportation. Further, the article builds on the literature on domain-specific skills to propose that technological reflectiveness (i.e., the ability to think about the impact of a technological product on its users and society in general) and product expertise increase transportation. The article explores the effect that transportation has on the ability of consumers to enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of a radically new product and on their ability to provide valuable concept improvement ideas (i.e., ideas that are highly novel, feasible, and beneficial for consumers). A quasi-experiment with 253 participants demonstrates that a story format, product experience with related product categories, and technological reflectiveness increased transportation with regard to radically new products. The empirical research also showed that transportation facilitates the enumeration of the advantages and the disadvantages of a concept, resulting in more valuable concept improvement ideas. These findings suggest that innovation managers should strive to evoke transportation in concept tests for radically new products, as transportation allows consumers to provide more valuable input.