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Understanding new‐to‐market product development in SMEs

Simon Mosey (Institute for Enterprise and Innovation, Nottingham University Business School, Nottingham, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 February 2005




This study aims to understand how small‐ to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can build a dynamic capability for new‐to‐market product development.


Five innovative and ambitious case firms were selected and studied longitudinally over the course of five years.


Within this group distinct development processes are identified that enable them to satisfy the unmet needs of new customers using their current technologies. However to sustain this activity managers need to empower cross‐functional teams to evaluate new technologies with an ever‐increasing number of pioneering partners. An ideal sequence is proposed for them to achieve this by systematising learning between projects and thereby reconfiguring their development processes to meet the changing needs of the market.

Research limitations/implications

This method appears most suited to SMEs able to develop new‐to‐market products in conjunction with technologically discerning customers and suppliers. As such it may be less applicable outside the observed business‐to‐business markets.


The five cases studied aptly illustrate the interplay of certain paths, positions and processes in terms of how they relate to new‐to‐market product development performance. The implication for researchers and managers is that consideration of all of these factors is necessary.



Mosey, S. (2005), "Understanding new‐to‐market product development in SMEs", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 114-130.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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