Technology leader

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As technology leaders ( English leaders of technology ) in business administration are called companies that have a clear lead in applied technology compared to comparable competing companies .


The competitive strategies are cost , price , quality and technology leadership. What these corporate strategies have in common is that a company in a specific entrepreneurial sector ( costs , market price , product quality / service quality or technology) has a greater lead or advantages over its competitors in the same market segment . Technological leadership means that a differentiation from competitors takes place with the help of high technological achievements ( cutting edge technology ) .

Today this is no longer a coincidence, but is part of a company's strategic planning . If it achieves cost advantages through cost reduction , it can - with constant market price - achieve more profit than the competition or it lowers prices and attracts more demand . There is price leadership, for example, in the partial monopoly , a market with one large and many small providers. Here the large company has a certain leeway in setting its prices, for example through economies of scale . The smaller companies will base their price decisions on the market leader . Quality leadership requires a head start in product or service quality.


In 1911, in his work Theory of Economic Development, the economist Joseph Schumpeter described a dynamic entrepreneur (pioneer entrepreneur ) who became a monopoly through his innovation . It stays that way until imitators appear or its innovation fades due to further developments. The introduction of new production methods , the development of new sales markets or the conquest of new sources of procurement for raw materials , consumables and supplies ( low-cost country sourcing ) could also bring the monopolist a profit, which Erich Preiser named pioneering profit in 1955 .

economic aspects

There are two types of technology leaders in companies, namely those who are the first to use technical progress and use it in their production technology ( energy technology , manufacturing technology or process engineering ) and companies that bring product innovations to the market. They conduct their own research and development , which is not only intended to improve their products and services, but can also serve to improve production technology. New technical know-how , acquired patents or property rights are also indicators of improved technologies.

Technology leader can be a single company, but also - due to progressive branches of the economy - a state . For example, Germany is considered a global technology leader in the sectors of biogas generation , bioenergy and wind energy , while Trumpf is a world market and technology leader in the field of industrial lasers and laser systems .

An above-average research intensity compared to the competition , visible in the research quota , can result in technological leadership. Too little research intensity, on the other hand, can endanger the technological lead if technology followers react and catch up. Technology leaders are often not able to implement new technologies in good time. Above all cost leaders, but increasingly also quality and technology leaders in machine tool construction, make changes to products at almost annual intervals. As a special strategy of technology leadership, especially with automotive suppliers , the system supplier can be identified, who can become an irreplaceable partner in the supply chain of the automotive manufacturer .

Newer or better technologies are usually associated with a cost advantage (through improved productivity or economy ) compared to previous technologies, but they can still contain defects that lead to incorrect production and shortages . Cost advantages create competitive advantages for the technology leader , through which it can increase its market share at the expense of the competition and become the market leader . The entrepreneur Christian Dräger characterized the strategy of his company ( Drägerwerk ) as follows: “Market leadership through technology leadership, technology leadership through product innovation.” The starting point is therefore the product innovation through which technology leadership and ultimately market leadership can be achieved. Today, key technologies in particular have a profound impact on economic structure , the environment and social life . Those who use them at an early stage will also become technology leaders. Technology leadership is successful internationally when the technology leader is able to use comparative cost advantages .

Individual evidence

  1. Jörg Fischer, Technology and Competitive Advantages , 2002, p. 118
  2. Joseph Schumpeter, Theory of Economic Development , 1911, p. 78
  3. Erich Preiser, Multiplicator Process and Dynamic Entrepreneurship , in: Yearbooks for Economics and Statistics , Volume 167, 1955, pp. 127–140
  4. Robert Reuter, Bundle of Light with Radiance , 2007, o. P.
  5. Martin Wiegand, Processes Organizational Learning , 1996, p. 508 f.
  6. Martin Beck, Machine Tool Builders in Germany, Japan and the USA , 1997, p. 214
  7. Garnet Kasperk / Michael Woywode / Ralf Kalmbach, Successful in China: Strategies for the Automotive Supply Industry , 2006, p. 78
  8. Christian Dräger, Thoughts on Corporate Responsibility: Speeches and Writings 1974 to 2002 , 2003, p. 184
  9. Garnet Kasperk / Michael Woywode / Ralf Kalmbach, Successful in China: Strategies for the Automotive Supply Industry , 2006, p. 85