اعتبار سنجی خلاقیت محصول جدید در بافت شرقی مالزی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2269||2012||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 22 June 2012
This paper examines the etic vs. emic nature of the new product creativity (NPC) construct often used in the strategic marketing and management literatures. The current study compares the NPC measure developed by Im and Workman (2004) in the West in an Eastern context by utilizing data from 172 Malaysian companies. The results show that NPC, which is the combination of new product (NP) novelty and NP meaningfulness, has a different connotation in Malaysia. The findings demonstrate that from the novelty perspective NPC is an emic phenomenon. After the construct validation process, the Western claim that NPC is a seed of firm performance is tested. The results verify NPC's relationship with NP performance as a source of competitive advantage for Malaysian firms and thus suggest that this relationship is etic in nature. These findings have significant implications for firms' global innovation strategies.
Research on new product creativity (NPC) has witnessed a burgeoning interest, as evidenced by the number of scholarly articles and books dedicated to the topic (e.g., Goldenberg and Mazursky, 2002 and Im and Workman, 2004). Now, a growing number of studies examine NPC and its contribution to a firm's competitive advantages on a global scale, especially in the East (Yang, 2007, Yang and Liu, 2006, Yang and Rui, 2009 and Zhou, 2006). However, this new research employs NPC measures previously developed in American studies without adequately examining the validity of those measures in the new international settings. However, due to the potential emic (i.e., culture-specific) nature of the “creativity” phenomenon, the NPC scale cannot simply be exchanged in its original form. Relatedly, given the fact that Eastern respondents' specific value system may affect their responses to perceptual NPC measures, theoretical underpinnings and empirical evidence gathered in a Western context have a lower probability of being equivalent in an Eastern context. From a cross-national perspective, a reliable and valid instrument is necessary to obtain accurate and meaningful information pertaining to NPC and its contribution to sustainable competitive advantage. Therefore, necessary steps must be taken to ensure that any differences found between different cultures are the reflection of the NPC phenomenon and do not simply reflect differences in construct conceptualization. Briefly, without further evidence for the rigorous evaluation of the NPC construct in an international context, research findings gathered from other countries must be regarded as ambiguous. The purpose of the current study is twofold. First, the study compares the NPC construct originally developed by Im and Workman (2004) in the Western context (e.g., U.S.) with data from Eastern context (e.g., Malaysia). Second, after a rigorous validation process, the analysis tests whether NPC affects financial and market performances in the Eastern context of Malaysia. The results offer important insight into (1) the conception of NPC and its generalizability to an Eastern context, and (2) its influence on NP performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The NPC concept is an important focal phenomenon of many marketing and management studies. Though much of the research on NPC over the past decade has been conducted in the US, a growing number of researchers from the East have sparked an interest in examining this concept and its effects on firms' performances and economic growth. Unfortunately, much of this research embraces a pseudo-etic approach to the NPC metric, where researchers utilize the NPC measure developed in the US context on subjects in an Eastern context without validating the construct and including the items specific to the target culture. Due to potentially confounded and ambiguous results, findings from these studies must be considered tenuous. In the current study, first, the psychometric properties of the NPC scale [developed and measured by Im and Workman (2004) in a Western context (e.g., U.S.)] are assessed and tested as to whether the scale is also generalizable to an Eastern context (e.g., Malaysia). The claim that creative products are the seed of firm performance is also tested. In contrast to other studies, Im and Workman's (2004) initial item pool is used rather than their refined scale items. In this way, a test of whether the same items are generated in the validation process is made. After rigorous psychometric testing, the results highlight the superiority of the two dimensional eight-item scale with four items each loading on the NP novelty and NP meaningfulness dimensions of NPC (see Appendix A for the items). Each of these dimensions exhibits an acceptable level of structural (convergent and discriminant) validity. An examination of the psychometric properties of the NPC scale in an Eastern context reveals three key findings. First, Eastern conceptions regarding the structure of NPC are consistent with Western conceptions. That means, with regard to evaluations of creative products, novelty and meaningfulness dimensions appear to be consistent across Western and Eastern cultures (Paletz & Peng, 2008) [i.e., creative products need to be both novel and meaningful]. Second, although the results support Im and Workman's (2004) claim that the two dimensions should be assessed distinctively, support for the validation of the original NPC metric is not found in the current Asian context. In particular, the results show that the novelty aspect of NPC is perceived differently in the Malaysian sample. In cross-cultural creativity research, much discussion revolves on how creativity is perceived and interpreted across different cultures. According to this literature, Western conceptions of creativity are primarily concerned with radical innovation, breaking with tradition, and incorporating a revolutionary view. On the other hand, Eastern conceptions of creativity involve reinterpretation of tradition and a cyclical process. Creativity in the East is inspirational and horizontal, and favors the evolutionary view (Gardner, 2001). The current study's findings are consistent with this observation. Im and Workman's NPC scale (developed and measured in the U.S.) incorporates the Western view of novelty and emphasizes the “revolutionary”, “unconventional way of solving problems”, “out of ordinary”, and “radical differences”. The scale from the current study (based on Malaysian firms' data) reflects the Eastern view of novelty and highlights items such as “interesting and eye catching perspective”, “seeing the world in different ways” and “inspirational”. Based on these findings, the NPC construct must be defined in a more precise way; and, its definition should differ based on the culture being studied. Indeed, two contextual definitions based on either Western or Eastern notions of NPC emanate from the current study. NPC in the West (W-NPC) is defined as the degree to which new products are perceived to represent radical, unconventional, and revolutionary differences from competitors'products in ways meaningful to target markets. On the other hand, NPC in the East (E-NPC) is defined as the degree to which new products are perceived to represent consistency with tradition and yet also are characterized by unique differences from competitors'products in ways meaningful to target markets. Third, while the findings reveal that the novelty aspect of NPC is perceived differently in an Eastern context, the meaningfulness aspect of the construct reflects a similar pattern to the Western perspective. That is, meaningfulness is about fulfilling and fitting with customer needs and being consistent with market trends. Of course, actual customer needs and market trends may differ across cultures such that what is meaningful for one cultural market may not be for another. The current study did not determine what is actually meaningful for specific cultures (viz. Malaysia and the US) but did demonstrate the importance of meaningfulness as a general concept, consistent across cultures. Based on these key findings, a conclusion is made that novelty and meaningfulness are universally considered two salient characteristics in the evaluation of creative products. However, culture provides Zeitgeist for creativity and, thereby, the value system of different cultures should be incorporated in the evaluation process when deciding what is novel and meaningful for any particular company's product offerings. This would appear to be of upmost importance in the strategic marketing of new products across cultural boundaries (Laroche, 2009). For example, Nike is known for its creative products around the world. Though the corporation positions itself as the most innovative sports gear company in the world, how Nike communicates its novel products differs depending on the cultural context. This seems consistent with the distinction between Western and Eastern cultural perspectives. For example, in their “pro-apparel” campaign in the US, Nike embraced an aggressive and out-of-the-ordinary advertising approach3; whereas, in China, an approach is adopted which is more consistent with Chinese tradition and harmonious with the Chinese value system, yet still unique and unfolding.4 The current study explored whether NPC as an innovation-based resource is a strategic source of competitive advantage in the Eastern context of Malaysia. Drawing on R–A theory, introduced and developed by Hunt (2000), NPC is conceptualized as a distinct, immobile, and heterogeneous resource that will yield a marketplace position of competitive advantage for firms and, thereby, superior financial performance. As R–A theory suggests and the findings here reveal that the success of Malaysian firms is driven by the competences to produce novel and meaningful products. Although both aspects are important for successful products, the results also show that performance tends to be driven more by the meaningfulness dimension than by the novelty dimension. The results are thus partially consistent with Im and Workman's (2004) findings. Further, by including two control variables, the effects of external market forces (market and technology density) on performance were tested. The results reveal that external market forces were not significant contributors to new product success in the Malay dataset used; rather, the distinctive resources and capabilities that enhance new product performance outcomes were the significant contributors to new product success. Although this study provides insights into the understanding of the Eastern conception of NPC and its unique contribution to competitive advantage, it has some limitations. First, as the study used a single country approach, simultaneous comparison of the results with a Western culture could not be done. Instead, the comparison of East and West is based on comparing the current study's findings with Im and Workman's (2004) U.S.-based findings. Further validation research is encouraged to verify the findings. Second, the current study uses a cross-sectional survey design. As Chandy and Tellis (1998) note, creative products often take time to fully demonstrate their effects on performance. Therefore, testing of the NPC association with performance in a longitudinal framework might be insightful. Third, collected data came from one key informant in each Malaysian firm. This could create a potential for common method bias, however, the CMV test statistics show that this bias was not an issue. As a final point, for future research, a research stream aimed at understanding theoretical reasons behind the differences in the perception of NPC, and the causes and performance outcomes of this emic phenomenon around the world is envisioned. This will not only assist researchers conduct studies examining the culture-based phenomenon of NPC across multiple countries but also aid policy makers in their effort to induce firms to compete effectively via creative products in world markets. Indeed, a plethora of interesting research avenues exist to explore in this area and further work is encouraged.