‘It’s a natural drift alright’: From needs-based demand to technology-driven demand in business

Peter Stone, Geoff A. Goldman, Peta Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orientation: It is apparent that the conventional view of business ideas being born out of the needs of society is being re-conceptualised with the introduction of new technologies and as the business environment increases in complexity. Research purpose: This study set out to understand how rapid advances in technology have impacted the basic assumptions for business demand, as expressed in, for example, van der Heijden’s Business Idea model, and to comprehend how these assumptions have changed over time. Motivation for the study: This study stems from an intention to comprehend how technology has become a creator of demand. Research design, approach and method: An interpretive, grounded theory approach was followed, soliciting views from 14 senior-level managers of a global, technology-driven company by using semi-structured interviews. Interviews were analysed using a three-stage coding process. This involves subjecting data to open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. Main findings: The analytic process revealed four themes: (1) business and demand, (2) business competitiveness, (3) technology and society and (4) technology and customers. Engagement with these themes revealed that technology is changing the nature of business models, business strategy and business processes. The pace of technological development has given rise to dynamic marketplace changes, where companies use new technologies to develop innovative product offerings that lead to more dynamic business models, processes and structures. In so doing, technology has become a driver of demand. Practical/Managerial implications: Business leaders should take note that technological changes have a potential impact on the future strategy of companies, as this requires an alignment of these changes with supporting business processes. Contribution/Value-add: With cognisance of the central role technology is playing in the contemporary business environment, as a driver of demand, this study proposes a technology-driven demand (TDD) framework, as a re-evaluation of van der Heijden’s Business Idea model.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1143
JournalActa Commercii
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • business model
  • demand
  • disruption
  • innovation
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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