The purpose of this paper is to examine some recent developments in the field of new products innovation. As a starting point, the reader is introduced to a brief history of management, setting innovation in its historic context. Some major issues facing new products managers are then briefly reviewed, and three recent developments in the innovation literature are discussed. These are: the growing role of improvisation in new product development as a reaction to conventional planning models; the role of “heart” in the workplace as a means of improving the creative potential of organisations; and the importance of qualitative‐based approaches as a means of tapping into the latent and unmet needs of consumers.
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