Vol.2 No.3 2009

Research paper : Two types of lead users in a model for the transfer of technology into households (Y. Kubo et al.)−187−Synthesiology - English edition Vol.2 No.3 (2009) spatulas in both hands worked optimallyNote 5). At the time, there was no cooking method using spatulas made of synthetic material for cooking over heat. However, W knew that the silicon spatula supplied as a sample by importer K was heat resistant, and she tested the silicon spatula instead of the wooden spatula and turnerNote 6). However, W was not satisfied with the existing product, and continued to study the silicon spatula that had optimal structure for IH cooking. As a result, the product developed jointly by Kai Corporation, a manufacturer of kitchen utensils, was announced in 2008 and was launched to the general market in April 2009.Third, businesses that did not have knowledge of IH technology or cooking method played important roles. TEPCO promoted the “Switch the Design” Project under the concept to “propose a new lifestyle through electricity,” and planned a “select shop” for IH products in the Ginza TEPCO Building. As a result of selecting a company while incorporating ideas from housewives, Flying Saucer (a division of Toko K.K.) opened a store on October 2005Note 7). The company appointed S, a housewife, as the store manager and developed original cooking utensils as well as sold existing products. Food stylist C, a friend of S, proposed new ideas. Flying Saucer was already working on the development of silicon resin spatulas in 2004, and it started the seven color line-up adding black, navy, green, and brown to the red, yellow, and blue products that were already in the stores.Next, the diffusion process by which the cooking method using the silicon spatulas diffused in society will be described. First, from the experience of developer W, her cooking method was initially not intended for the general public. The cooking method with silicon spatulas held in both hands was publicized in an article for IH fry cooking in a cooking article in a fashion magazine in 2004, as mentioned before. In the article on fry cooking in a cookbook for IH published by W in 2006, the method of holding a wooden spatula in one hand and a silicon one in the other was shown. Although two silicon spatulas were optimal, one was replaced with a wooden spatula for readers who did not own two silicon spatulasNote 8). The silicon spatula for IH cooking developed by W was announced through the media for the first time in December 2008.Second, Flying Saucer actively promoted the silicon resin spatula through the media since its launch. Rather than the cooking articles that were the subject of the time-series analysis of this research, the silicon spatulas were taken up in the goods articles of fashion magazines without much relevance to IH cooking. The focus was on the seven-color line up, and they were introduced as “colors that can be used by men in cooking” or “colors that match the interior decoration of the kitchen to create a comfortable place.” The company developed an original Chinese wok for IH cooking in collaboration with TEPCO, and conducted a sales promotion by showing the wok with the silicon spatula. At the time, the silicon spatulas were not intended for IH cooking, and the combination of the spatula and the IH cooking utensil was quite coincidental. The reason the company thought of supplementing IH cooking with a silicon resin spatula was because it saw the scene where two wooden spatulas were used in the TEPCO TVCM that was aired at the time. A red silicon spatula was displayed with the wok in the show window of the Ginza store, and the booklet for the store carried a photograph of the ingredients being mixed in the wok with navy and brown spatulas in both hands. On the TEPCO’s web CM, a famous chef was shown making fried rice using the wok and red silicon spatulasNote 9).6 Proposal of a model for development and diffusion of the cooking system accompanying the IH technologyThe progression of the cooking system accompanying IH can be divided into two stages of development and diffusion, as shown in Fig. 3. First, the cooking method where the wooden spatulas are held in both hands appeared almost spontaneously from 1999 to 2000. In the process of using the wooden spatulas, the silicon spatulas started to be used as new cooking tools. The second stage was after 2004, and the information on the new cooking system was transmitted through the media as the diffusion of IH progressed. Looking at the individuals and organizations that contributed to the development and diffusion of the cooking system, the development was led by the power company that promoted the diffusion of IH, and main roles were played by professional chef Y who cooked intuitively with wooden spatulas in both hands, cooking class coordinator N who saw that the two-spatula cooking method was unique to IH, and cookery researcher W who used silicon spatulas instead of wood. The diffusion was lead by the cookery researcher who provided IH cooking education with support from the TEPCO’s sales promotion efforts for all electrification. Also, the sales promotion activities of the retailers as exemplified by Flying Saucer were transmitted to households through various media.To consider the development and diffusion of the new cooking system, Table 1 compares the activities themselves, knowledge produced and transferred and the results of the activities with existing research for the individuals and organizations that led the development and diffusion. While the evolution of the fork was a cumulative process over a long time, the change in the IH cooking system was a discontinuous evolution brought on by advanced science and technology. As in the case of the fork, the household played a certain role as a user in the evolution of IH. Similar to the case of the keyboard, cooking tools and recipes that comprise the cooking system could be developed outside of the


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