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How managers' cognitive frames affect the use of process improvement approaches in new product development

Rima Al Hasan (Department of Business Administration, The University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan)
Pietro Micheli (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 25 May 2022

Issue publication date: 8 August 2022

529

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the numerous implementations of process improvement approaches (PIAs) in new product development (NPD), the espoused benefits of PIAs are rarely realized in practice. This paper explores how managers' cognitive frames provide knowledge structures that affect the use of PIAs in the development of new products.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative multiple case study method was used to elaborate theory in relation to the use of PIAs in NPD. Four large multinational companies were selected. Interviews with informants from different functional specialisms were conducted, and internal and online documents were collected and analyzed.

Findings

Two main findings emerge. First, the authors identify three types of managers' cognitive frames: conflicting, paradoxical, and supporting. Second, these cognitive frames are found to influence managers' decisions over whether to promote, adapt or prevent the implementation of PIAs, sometimes in contrast with the managers' organization’s strategic intent.

Practical implications

This paper generates insights into the importance of managerial decision-making in determining the scope and depth of implementation of PIAs in NPD.

Originality/value

This study helps explain conflicting findings in the literature regarding the implementation and effects of PIAs in NPD by identifying managers' cognitive frames as a key factor. Moreover, the paper highlights managers' roles in shaping an organization's approach for managing contradictory goals and shows how an organizational frame may conflict and sometimes be displaced by individual managers' cognitive frames.

Keywords

Citation

Al Hasan, R. and Micheli, P. (2022), "How managers' cognitive frames affect the use of process improvement approaches in new product development", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 42 No. 8, pp. 1229-1271. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-12-2021-0758

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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