A significant amount of work has been done on new product development (NPD); however, studies on the flexibility aspect in NPD are scant. This study aims to investigate the relationship between NPD flexibility and five infrastructural factors, namely, marketing and manufacturing integration practices (MMIPs), advanced human resource practices (AHRPs), supplier integration practices (SIPs), operational improvement practices (OIPs) and advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs).
The study applies a questionnaire-based survey approach to examine the proposed relationships between different variables and NPD flexibility. Using a 39-item questionnaire, 262 valid and usable responses were collected from Indian manufacturing firms. Data were analysed using principal component analysis and confirmatory factor analysis. Further, structural equation modelling was applied to examine the contribution of different infrastructural factors to NPD flexibility.
In light of the empirical evidence produced in this study, the study suggests that MMIPs, AHRPs, SIPs, OIPs and AMTs have a direct, positive and significant influence on NPD flexibility. Among all the predictors, SIPs are the strongest predictor of NPD flexibility, followed by OIPs and AMTs.
The findings extend prior studies of NPD by broadening the theory related to NPD flexibility. Practitioners should take a macro approach and focus on several practices to enhance flexibility in NPD.
Unlike earlier studies that provide limited empirical evidence on NPD flexibility and deal with the concept in isolation, this empirical study applies a systematic approach to understand factors influencing NPD flexibility.
The authors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers and editor for their insightful and constructive feedback.
Mishra, R. and Mishra, O.N. (2019), "Factor influencing flexibility in new product development: empirical evidence from Indian manufacturing firms", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 1005-1015. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-06-2018-0186
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