Competitive advantage through multidisciplinary innovation in nutraceuticals: from concept optimisation to context transformation

Stefan Korber, Frank Siedlok, Lisa Callagher, Ziad Elsahn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The integration of knowledge, methods, and perspectives of multiple disciplines and stakeholders is increasingly viewed as crucial for product innovation and competitive advantage in nutraceuticals industries. Yet, little attention has been given to how different forms of multidisciplinarity can facilitate strategic innovation in this sector. To address this question, this chapter distinguishes narrow multidisciplinarity, which is grounded in science, engineering, and technology, from wide multidisciplinarity, which bridges the divide between the natural and social sciences. Drawing upon case studies, we show that multidisciplinary approaches can enable firms to optimise product characteristics and transform customer expectations and regulatory requirements. We highlight the potential shortfalls of narrow multidisciplinarity and suggest that wide interdisciplinarity can enable firms both to develop products that satisfy customer expectations and to galvanise change that maximises the social, economic, and ecological benefits of nutraceutical innovations. This chapter sensitises decision-makers to the multitude of approaches, benefits, and challenges that multidisciplinary endeavours in nutraceutical firms often entail.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCase studies on the business of nutraceuticals, functional and super foods
EditorsCristina Santini, Stefania Supino, Lucia Irene Bailetti
Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128214091
ISBN (Print)9780128214084
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing series in consumer science and strategic marketing


  • Collaborative innovation
  • Disciplinary integration
  • Functional food
  • Innovation
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Multidisciplinarity
  • Nutraceuticals


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