In new product development (NPD), the early phase is considered to be one of the greatest opportunities for improving the overall process, where intensive collaboration between marketing and R&D is essential. Nevertheless, previous studies indicate the difficulties of creating a thorough concept during the early phase. This paper aims to contribute to understanding why concept creation is difficult during the early phase of NPD.
This case study involves a single company, and is based on a combination of participant observations and interviews. The participant observations are based on an ethnographic method and the interviews on a hermeneutic approach.
The findings suggest that the difficulties in creating a strong concept during the early phase are related to the negative conflicts arising between marketing and R&D. The underlying cause of such conflicts can further be related to the strong interdependencies existing between the functions. Achieving a better understanding of the interdependencies and the different functional views may reduce the negative conflicts which otherwise tend to become barriers to the far‐reaching integration needed to develop a thorough concept.
As this study is based on a single case, further research is needed in this field in other industries.
Cooperation between functions, as advised in the literature, is not enough and needs to be expanded to cover perspective making and perspective taking in order to move away from the many non‐productive conflicts arising during the early phase as well as create thorough concepts.
This paper bridges different bodies of theories related to concept creation and identifies a gap in the existing theories concerning NPD and the early phase.
Kohn, K. (2006), "Managing the balance of perspectives in the early phase of NPD: A case study from the automotive industry", European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 44-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/14601060610640014Download as .RIS
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