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Measuring technological uncertainty and technological complexity: scale development and an assessment of reliability and validity

Sebastian Jilke (University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany)

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 8 April 2021

Abstract

Purpose

Technological uncertainty and technological complexity are the two dominant characteristics of new product development (NPD) projects that have a negative influence on NPD performance, relying on a strong theoretical argumentation based on organizational information processing theory. The purpose of this study is the development of reliable and valid scales for the measurement of technological uncertainty and technological complexity, especially in the context of the discontinuous technological change of digitization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses material from 44 in-depth interviews, which has been transferred into a questionnaire, and survey data from 166 respondents from the German automotive industry in charge of the development and production of electric and electronic technologies (including software). In this context, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses are used to test the developed scales for reliability and validity.

Findings

In this context, it can be stated that the developed scales affirm reliability and validity sufficiently. Interestingly, novelty, regarded as key item for measuring technological uncertainty, has to be dropped, as the factor loadings are under the cut-off of 0.40. Moreover, resulting items for measuring technological uncertainty and technological complexity do not deviate significantly from those discussed in previous study before the discontinuous technological change of digitization occurred.

Originality/value

This paper provides value for the discussion on how to measure technological uncertainty and technological complexity, especially in times of radical technological changes.

Keywords

Citation

Jilke, S. (2021), "Measuring technological uncertainty and technological complexity: scale development and an assessment of reliability and validity", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIS-08-2020-0120

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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