Managing information for effective product innovation : a contingency approach
Chou, Ting-Jui (1995) Managing information for effective product innovation : a contingency approach. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1399912~S1
Is it beneficial for firms to tailor their new product development (NPD) strategies to
accommodate different project situations/conditions? This thesis examines the applicability
of contingency theory to product innovation management. Based on an extensive
literature review, information processing and knowledge accumulation are interpreted as
the cognitive core of NPD, which further forms the basis of this study. The concept of "fit"
provides a necessary focus for statistical analyses, where information processing and
organisational learning models are presented to compare the use of these models and their
associated NPD contingent situations/conditions.
The development of the research instrument was guided by previous literature and
its validity and reliability tested in a pilot study. A project-level study involving 112 NPD
cases from 53 Taiwanese firms, selected via a representative sampling design, was
undertaken. Research data were acquired via a semi-structural questionnaire and through
in-depth interviews with managers. Both qualitative and quantitative techniques were
applied, to examine the nature of the research domain, and to retain the ability to generalize
research findings to the sampling frame.
This study provides better insight into the dynamics of product innovation. Multivariate
techniques were successfully used to develop a typology for differentiating NPD
projects. For consideration of internal contingent factors, NPD projects were classified into
Easy-to-Produce Radicals, Hard-to-Produce Radicals, Untried Incrementals, and Tried
and Tested Incrementals. For consideration of external contingent factors, three NPD
market conditions were identified, i.e., Turbulent Market, Declining Market, and Stable
Market. The findings suggest that internal conringent factors strongly affect the pattern of
projecr-level information processing, knowledge accumulation, and NPD structural design,
while external contingent factors have a limited effect upon NPD.
This study contributes to NPD management theory in three key areas: (1) The
hidden structure of NPD contingencies is uncovered in a systematic way. This provides a
basis for future studies, in which these contingent factors can be controlled and the effect
on other NPD activities can be observed more closely. (2) By combining qualitative and
quantitative techniques in a single research design, both the structure and the process of
product innovation are observed, This allowed the researcher to present a more detailed
anatomy of NPD information processing. (3) Previous academic work into NPD contingency
management was mainly based on hypothesized contingency variables, such as
radical/incremental innovations or routine/nonroutine tasks; these classifications are too
broad and fail to reveal the true nature of NPD. The current stud y differentiates NPD
projects based on situations/conditions empirically identified from fieldwork; this further
extends the frontier of conventional NPD contingency studies.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HF Commerce|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Product design, Strategic planning, Information resources management|
|Official Date:||November 1995|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Warwick Business School|
|Sponsors:||Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom|
|Extent:||xiv, 412 leaves|
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