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Identification of Stakeholders’ Hidden Agendas for Technology Diffusion

P. 33-48.

Technology diffusion is a central element in the increasing innovation and technology competition by companies and countries. Accordingly policy makers are extending their understanding of science, technology and innovation policy beyond the initial support of technology and innovation development and begin to focus more on the actual application hence diffusion potential of innovations. The history of fuel cells is a prominent example which shows how long time a technology might need to diffuse into broad application. The reasons for delayed diffusion and market penetration are manifold as the example shows. Besides the purely technology induced problems the technology is confronted with resistance by a broader stakeholder community. For producers, hence innovators, it’s important to learn the obvious but also the hidden agendas of stakeholders at early stages of technology development already.

The paper argues that diffusion of technology and innovation is strongly influenced by stakeholders. These have their own strategic intend which isn’t necessarily communicated openly. Eventually these hidden strategic intends turn out to become major potential obstacles to diffusion of technology and innovation. Therefore it’s important to include the strategic intend of stakeholders early in the development of technology and innovation at least to the extent to which these intends are recognizable.