The purpose of this paper is to present an empirical study which examines the relationships among design-driven innovation, quality and customer value in manufacturing companies.
A research project was carried out in 193 Italian manufacturing companies, using the questionnaire method. An exploratory research study was conducted with hierarchical cluster analysis and regression analysis.
The analysis shows the existence of four clusters of manufacturing companies which differ by firm size, expenditure in innovation and type of innovation. Furthermore, the elements of a quality product and a design product have a significant impact on customer value, and the importance of these elements changes within the different cluster.
The small size of the sample and the geographic origin of companies imply limited generalizability and further research on the topic is recommended.
The study suggests that companies should simultaneously pursue quality and innovation to increase customer value. To achieve high levels of innovation, and thus increase their quality standards, manufacturing companies should consider the importance of the elements related to design which have impact on customer value.
Focusing on the relationship between design-driven innovation and quality which has not yet been investigated, the present study reveals many common elements of product design and quality product and their positive influence on the perception of customer value.
Conti, E., Vesci, M., Crudele, C. and Pencarelli, T. (2019), "Design-driven innovation, quality, and customer value in manufacturing companies", The TQM Journal, Vol. 31 No. 6, pp. 968-986. https://doi.org/10.1108/TQM-01-2019-0032
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