مکانیسم ادغام فرهنگ ملی و R & D و بازاریابی در توسعه محصول جدید : یک مطالعه میان فرهنگی بین سنگاپور و نیوزیلند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2675||2006||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 35, Issue 3, April 2006, Pages 293–307
The integration of R&D and marketing in new product development (NPD) is an important contributor to NPD performance. Of the mechanisms developed to aid functional integration, many have been developed in western cultural environments and may not have applicability in other national cultural settings. Using a sample of NPD workgroup personnel in New Zealand (NZ), the western cultural environment, and Singapore, quantitative and qualitative data have been used to measure national culture and determine the applicability of different organization integration mechanisms. Results show key differences between the two samples, indicating a link between formalization, centralization, role flexibility and interfunctional climate mechanisms with the Hofstede dimensions of Power Distance, Masculinity and Uncertainty Avoidance of national culture. Managerial implications are that national cultural values and settings of the respondents are important when determining best integration mechanisms.
The use of the national context as a mediating, moderating or explanatory variable has been under increased attention in the new product development (NPD) management literature, reflecting the reality that no managerial decision, action, or process is undertaken in a vacuum without due consideration of the environmental and human factors impacting upon them. Contingency theory literature highlights contextual importance when determining and utilizing NPD business tools especially the nation (e.g., Hoppe, 1993, Nakata and Sivakumar, 1996 and Song and Parry, 1997). This notwithstanding, much of the NPD best practice literature has been derived from western cultural environments, most notably Western Europe (e.g., Hultink et al., 1997 and Rothwell, 1977) and North America (e.g., Griffin and Hauser, 1993 and Souder, 1988) with only a few from the Australasian (e.g., Atuahene-Gima, 1996, Dwyer, 1990 and Souder et al., 1997) and Asian contexts (e.g., Atuahene-Gima and Evangelista, 2000, Song and Parry, 1997 and Xie et al., 1998). Important as they have the distinction of identifying national differences in NPD behavior, they do not, however, explicitly measure national cultural values, and at best use existing cultural or value paradigms to explain or generate the directions of their proposed research questions and the differences observed. Effective NPD occurs once functional knowledge is mobilized and integrated (Souder & Moenaert, 1992) leading to the widely reported NPD success factor, functional integration. There is wide ranging empirical support found for this factor across all industry (e.g., Dougherty, 1990 and Souder, 1988), product (e.g., Leenders & Wierenga, 2002) and national contexts (e.g., Moenaert and Souder, 1990, Souder et al., 1997 and Takeuchi and Nonaka, 1986), with it being linked to all key NPD performance dimensions, e.g., NPD cycle time (e.g., Griffin, 1997), lead times, innovativeness, and NPD efficiency and effectiveness (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1995, Kahn and McDonough, 1997, Montoya-Weiss and Calantone, 1994 and Song et al., 1997). Integration is complicated by the complex networks of knowledge and business environments within which the modern firm operates (Griffin and Hauser, 1996, Leenders and Wierenga, 2002, Souder and Moenaert, 1992 and Van den Bulte and Moenaert, 1998). The complex organizational environment gives rise to physical, social, and organizational functional integration barriers hindering the effectiveness of NPD activities (Dougherty, 1992, Griffin and Hauser, 1996 and Leenders and Wierenga, 2002). A number of mechanisms to alleviate these integration problems have been proposed by the extant literature (e.g., Griffin and Hauser, 1996, Gupta et al., 1986, Kahn and McDonough, 1997 and Leenders and Wierenga, 2002). These range from the most potent mechanism identified, functional co-location (Griffin and Hauser, 1996, Kahn, 1996, Kahn and McDonough, 1997 and Leenders and Wierenga, 2002), to others that fall broadly into the categories of formalization, centralization, role flexibility, and interfunctional climate mechanisms (Moenaert, Souder, & De Meyer, 1994). The latter of these mechanisms are social in nature suggesting that the national environment in which they are implemented could enhance or hinder their effectiveness. Already there are examples in the literature that highlight that some mechanisms tend to be used in some national environments but not others, e.g., role flexibility and formalization mechanisms in New Zealand (NZ) (Souder et al., 1997), interfunctional climate mechanisms in Scandinavian environments (Souder & Jenssen, 1999), and centralization mechanisms in Singapore (Yap, Foo, Wong, & Singh, 1998). Fundamental questions arise: is there a linkage between the use of differing integration mechanisms and the national cultural context? If so what are the national cultural dimensions that could offer the best explanation for the differences? This paper examines therefore one national contextual difference, national culture, as a variable to explain differences in the use of integration mechanisms in evolutionary NPD projects in a two country comparative study: NZ (the western cultural environment) and Singapore (the Asian cultural environment). This paper first elaborates the core conceptual underpinnings leading to the propositions. An explanation of the two stage research design follows with the results and conclusion and implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Conclusion The five Hofstede dimensions (Hofstede, 1980 and Hofstede, 1991) were considered in relation to the marketing and R&D integration mechanisms utilized in Singapore and NZ NPD. Power Distance has an important role to play in both country samples, although proposed to have an effect on the use of formalization and centralization mechanisms (P1). Singapore has clearly a more centralized and formalized approach to the integration of marketing and R&D in NPD, reflecting the high relative Power Distance score computed. Decentralization of power to the NPD teams in NZ is also reflective of the Power Distance score. Although it was proposed that there would be better marketing and R&D integration in the societies with lower Power Distance, and therefore centralization, this was not observed to be the case. Singapore achieved effective integration, particularly interaction, through the dependence on the role of the manager who was the mechanism to achieve effective communication and cooperation, through institutionalizing NPD. Thus in a higher power distant society, formalization and centralization mechanisms are more effective. Although the literature suggests that this is not an optimal situation for integration (e.g., Moenaert and Souder, 1990 and Moenaert et al., 1994), and therefore NPD performance, the nature of integration will differ between national cultures, therefore the Power Distance tendency of the group should be considered, when ascertaining the degree of formalization and centralization mechanisms to be used. This proposition is supported. The Individualism and Collectivism dimension was proposed to have an effect on the use of all the integration mechanisms (P2). The only explanation that can be found is the partial receptivity by the NZ sample to the use of formalized mechanisms. The group orientation of the Collectivism pole of this dimension underlies the use of some of the commonly expounded integration techniques, such as coordinating groups and multidisciplinary NPD teams (Griffin & Hauser, 1996). The use of these types of mechanisms was observed in the NZ sample, and not to any great degree in Singapore, where a more functionally aligned approach to NPD was undertaken. The nature of the Collectivist pole, where individuals are more group focused, has an effect on the other types of mechanisms as well. For example, in the NZ sample, more role flexibility and attention to the interfunctional climate were observed. This proposition is not supported. The Masculinity and Femininity dimension was proposed to have effect on all the integration mechanisms (P3). The proposed directions were observed in the data, therefore this is a relevant dimension on which to explain the use of mechanisms for integration within these two samples. The more feminine sample, NZ, for example, was proposed to be less receptive to the use of formalization, and more likely to have more decentralization, role flexibility and interfunctional climate mechanisms for integration. This proposition is supported. The Uncertainty Avoidance dimension was proposed to foster the use of formalization mechanisms for integration (P4). Evidence from the Singapore sample, with higher levels of Uncertainty Avoidance, concurred with this proposition. Clear rules, procedures and planning were observed to be key driving forces behind NPD and thereon the effective interaction and collaboration between the two functions, within the Singapore sample. Although, it was observed that clearly defined rules and procedures were in evidence within the NZ sample, a greater degree of flexibility, that allows some risk taking and creativity, which fosters greater communication and cooperation between functional units, is required for formalization mechanisms to be effective. Uncertainty Avoidance, therefore, was observed to be a critical dimension, on which to measure the use of formalization integration mechanisms within the two samples under study. There was little difference in the sample in terms of their relative levels of long and short-term orientation, although Singapore was a little more long-term orientated. The work ethic, a relevant component within this dimension, appeared to be somewhat more important in the Singapore sample, but as this was not specifically identified in the results, its impact on the use of integration mechanisms was not ascertained (P5). In conclusion, the most relevant dimensions to consider, when setting up mechanisms to integrate R&D and marketing, were observed to be Power Distance, Masculinity and Femininity and Uncertainty Avoidance. The other dimensions may be relevant in other cultural settings, but not within the observed Singapore and NZ samples. Integration between R&D and marketing in NZ and Singapore clearly is important for meeting NPD objectives and commitments. The tools that are used however are different and this could be aligned with the underlying definition of what integration means in the two countries. 6.2. Managerial implications The integration of marketing and R&D activities within the NPD process is very important in the two countries under study, but national culture does need to be taken into account in the use of mechanisms for integration. There is a requirement for formalization of NPD activities in both country samples, but the nature of the formalization mechanisms used need to be taken into account. It is observed that in a less uncertainty avoidance national culture, NZ, bureaucracy in formal NPD plans need to be limited, in order to ensure that the quality of the NPD integration and results are the focus, not the process. Formalization is not a problem in the higher uncertainty avoidance society, Singapore, where formal clear guidelines, task denotations, and reporting mechanisms between the functions are emphasized. These formal processes take away any ambiguity in uncertain situations such as NPD. Institutionalizing the integration process is closely related to the degree of Power Distance observed impacting the degree of centralization. The manager in high Power Distance societies has higher responsibility for functional integration, and is required to take on the role as communication and cooperation conduit. Functionalizing the organization, with decisions resting with a few, works far more effectively in a high Power Distance context than in a low Power Distance context, such as NZ. Formal processes for integration should be combined with the decentralized structures in NZ where responsibility for integration is empowered to the project team. Formal integration processes, however, should have management control in Singapore. Role flexibility mechanisms fit the cultural profile of the NZ sample, but not in Singapore as a factor for integration. It is the upper manager's responsibility to foster flexibility through training and formalizing job specifications to include role flexibility issues in Singapore. This matches the requirements, given the Power Distance, Masculinity and Uncertainty Avoidance characteristics, of the sample. The NZ sample shows greater inclination to understand the other functional units, at the project level, with little training involved. Management should encourage this, through either formally training personnel to understand the other function's task, or ensuring that there is a good interfunctional climate that encourages cross learning and task sharing. Formal job rotation was not in evidence in either of the samples. Interfunctional climate plays a far smaller role in Singapore firms as an integration mechanism than in NZ; this not withstanding, the upper manager has far more responsibility to ensure that there is a climate in which effective collaboration, the affective dimension of integration, between the functions is achieved. In NZ, the feminine propensity suggests that they wish to have a good climate between the two functions. The project level leader is responsible for fostering this climate, not upper management. National cultural differences, based on these results, do need to be considered before mechanisms being implemented in another national environment. The mechanisms for integration used in one national cultural setting do not necessarily work in another national cultural environment. Power Distance, Masculinity and Uncertainty Avoidance appear to be the most relevant of the dimensions to ascertain in NZ and Singapore. 6.3. Limitations and future research Other contextual variables have not been taken into account, which may be seen as a limitation. National culture explains between 25% and 50% of the variation in an individual's behavior (Gannon, 1994) therefore socio-economic variables may significantly impact the organizational commitment to NPD, and functional integration. Other organizational and market level factors have also not been taken into consideration that could be influences on effective integration. Literature has linked the importance of integration to environmental uncertainty, market competitiveness, and technological change, all identified as important antecedents to interfunctional integration (e.g., Song et al., 1997). Organizational factors such as leadership styles, industry requirements, gender differences and countless other factors are all linked to integration effectiveness (Kahn, 1996 and Leenders and Wierenga, 2002). Similarly this paper has not attempted to link integration to NPD performance, as the sample firms have had successful NPD performance. The results are from a small sample of Singapore and NZ firms, which have been argued to represent the western and eastern cultural environments. Although clear directions and possible interactions with cultural determinants on integration mechanisms have been found, a larger empirical study is required to generalize the results within and beyond these two national contexts. A more universal model may be discovered. Given the increasingly cross-national nature of NPD, such studies may be a direction that will add to business best practice and the academic debate. Finally, the construct of national culture needs to be continually addressed. Numerous criticisms of the Hofstede approach abound (see: Harzing & Hofstede, 1996), however, few other models of national culture have been presented which could adequately replace this approach. With issues such as the divergence, convergence and crossvergence debates, other national cultural measurement systems should be developed and tested to determine if they are relevant replacements of the Hofstede model.