توسعه محصول جدید در آسیا : مقدمه ای بر مسئله خاص
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2678||2006||10 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 252–261
Given the increasing importance of Asia, the purpose of this special issue is to broaden the scope of our understanding of New Product Development (NPD) by going beyond the traditional Western research settings and looking at how new products are developed in Asia. This paper introduces the special issue on NPD in Asia and identifies key patterns of similarities and differences between Asian and Western NPD practices. The paper highlights key similarities and differences in the areas of organizational/top management support; technological proficiency; customer/market orientation; information sharing; cross-functional interface; entrepreneurship orientation; NPD strategies; innovation orientation; contingencies of innovation orientation; innovative marketing strategies; NPD process; appointment of project managers; rewarding team members; success rate; and cycle time.
The ever increasing importance of Asia needs no special introduction. Nor is there a need to highlight the demographic and economic realities of the region. What needs to be highlighted, however, is the fact that Asia is more than a large market for firms to consider when developing their new products. Besides a large number of potential buyers, Asia offers many other players of NPD, such as suppliers, contractors, R&D specialists, designers, manufacturers, packaging firms, distributors, and retailers. Firms engaging in NPD can certainly take advantage of the offerings of these Asian players in their NPD activities. Another point that needs to be highlighted about Asia is that Asia can be relevant in almost any aspect of the long NPD process, going well beyond the commonly emphasized commercialization stage of the NPD process. For instance, in the opportunity identification and idea generation stages of the NPD process, Asia can be a valuable source for ideas for future new products not only for the Asian market but also for the rest of the world. In the new product testing stage, firms can test their new products in Asia irrespective of whether they intend to target Asian or non-Asian markets. If they are targeting Asia, they will have an opportunity to know how their new products work under real usage conditions and hence will be able to adapt their new products. If they do not intend to target the Asian market, they can still test their new products in Asia and hence prevent their competitors from finding-out their NPD activities. In the business analysis phase of the NPD process, they can assess the business viability of their new products irrespective of their final destinations. For the new products that they intend to develop for the Asian market, they can certainly take into account the local market size, and product costs and prices. For the new products that they intend to develop for the non-Asian markets, they can take into account the costs of sourcing some of their raw materials and parts from Asia when conducting their business analysis. It might very well be possible that a new product idea that is otherwise unviable can become viable if its business analysis is re-conducted based on the assumption of sourcing raw materials and parts from Asia. In the design and development phase of the NPD process, firms can take advantage of the Asian talent and resources. Finally, in the new product introduction stage of the NPD, firms can test-market their new products in locations such as Hong Kong or Singapore and can have a chance to improve their marketing strategies before introducing their new products to the rest of Asia or the world. In our call for papers for this special issue, we stated that given the increasing importance of Asia, we aim at broadening the scope of our understanding of NPD by going beyond the traditional Western research settings and looking at how new products are developed in Asia. Theoretically, we intend to understand how and why NPD in Asia differs from that in the rest of the world. We also wish to know whether Asia's unique market and cultural realities have any impact on NPD and its outcomes. Managerially, we hope to offer useful guidelines to both Asian and Western companies with regard to developing new products in Asia. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue on NPD in Asia and to identify some patterns of similarities and differences between Asia and the West with respect to NPD. The following section introduces individual contributions to this issue. After that, key similarities and differences between Asian and Western NPD practices are highlighted. Finally, the supports of an outstanding and dedicated group of reviewers are acknowledged.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The papers included in this special issue collectively offer some interesting similarities and differences between the NPD activities in Asia and those in the West. The purpose of this section is to identify some patterns of those similarities and differences. Table 1 presents some examples of the similarities and differences with respect to organizational/top management support; technological proficiency; customer/market orientation; information sharing; cross-functional interface; entrepreneurship orientation; NPD strategies; innovation orientation; contingencies of innovation orientation; innovative marketing strategies; NPD process; appointment of project managers; rewarding team members; success rate; and cycle time. And, the details of these similarities and differences are discussed below: 2.1. Organizational and top management support The positive impact of organizational and top management support on the success of new products has long been established in the NPD literature (Cooper, 1999, Menon et al., 1999, Ozer, 2004, Parry and Song, 1993 and Song and Parry, 1997). Studies from Asia also confirm this positive relationship. For example, Song and Noh (2006-this issue) analyzed the Korean high-tech firms and found that top management support was a key distinguisher between success and failure. In addition, Jeong et al. (2006-this issue) examined Chinese manufacturing firms with respect to their organizational processes and found that organizational support was critical in the effective management of product innovation. 2.2. Technological proficiency This factor deals with the proficiency of NPD, in-house testing of the new product or its prototype, trial/pilot production, production startup, and obtaining necessary technology (Ozer, 2004). Technological proficiency leads to greater efficiencies in NPD and provides companies additional resources, making them more competitive and more successful in their NPD activities (Cooper, 1999, Montoya-Weiss and Calantone, 1994, Ozer, 2004 and Song and Parry, 1997). Consistently, Jeong et al. (2006-this issue) examined Chinese manufacturing firms with respect to their technological proficiencies and found that technology orientation was positively related to technical performance and profitability of new products. 2.3. Customer/market orientation Similar to technological proficiency, a firm's proficiencies in understanding its customers and markets and in developing new products based on that understanding are positively related to new product success (Calantone et al., 1996, Montoya-Weiss and Calantone, 1994 and Ozer, 2004). In a study of Korean high-tech firms, Song and Noh (2006-this issue) also found that customer orientation was important in the NPD process. There are a few exceptions, however. In contrast to the findings of the Western studies, Jeong et al. (2006-this issue) found that customer orientation did not impact the profitability of new products of Chinese manufacturing firms. In addition, Song and Thieme (2006-this issue) found in a cross-sectional survey that the level of marketing's involvement in R&D tasks was lower in China. Finally, despite the positive role of marketing in NPD activities in the West, Li et al. (2006-this issue) found in a cross-sectional survey in China that market orientation did not have any significant impact on NPD. One of the reasons why market-orientation may not be strongly linked with product innovation in China is that many firms in China do not fully appreciate how to effectively implement the concept of being customer-oriented in their NPD process (Jeong et al., 2006-this issue and Song and Thieme, 2006-this issue). 2.4. Information sharing Product innovation requires an immense amount of information from different functional units, and an effective and efficient information exchange in the NPD process is essential for generating successful outcomes. In fact, information sharing has been identified as an important success factor in NPD (Brown and Eisenhardt, 1995, Dougherty, 1992, Ozer, 2003, Ozer, 2004 and Sheremata, 2000). Consistent with the findings of the Western studies, Song and Noh (2006-this issue), based on a sample of Korean high-tech firms, concluded that the level of information flow and contact between the technical entities and commercial entities were strongly correlated to both technical and financial success. Similarly, Song and Thieme (2006-this issue) report that their findings based on cross-sectional surveys in China, Japan and the US reinforce the importance of information sharing between R&D and marketing departments. 2.5. Cross-functional interface Another important factor that has been found to be positively related to NPD outcomes is cross-functional interface (Griffin, 1997). Studies from Asia also confirm the importance of this factor. For example, Song and Noh (2006-this issue) found that cross-functional interface played an important role in the success of the new products of Korean high-tech firms. Similarly, Song and Thieme (2006-this issue) showed in cross-sectional surveys in China, Japan and the US that harmonious relationships between marketing and R&D and an environment that encourages participation in decision-making were important in China, Japan and the US. Although the integration of cross-functional activities in the NPD process is important, national culture needs to be taken into account in the use of different mechanisms for the integration. In fact, as Garrett et al. (2006-this issue) show in their cross-sectional study of nine firms from New Zealand and nine firms from Singapore, in a less uncertainty avoidance culture such as New Zealand bureaucracy in NPD needs to be limited whereas in a higher uncertainty avoidance culture such as Singapore, emphasizing clear guidelines, task denotations, and reporting mechanisms can be helpful in reducing some of the perceived ambiguities in the NPD process. Another difference between the West and Asia with regard to the use of cross-functional teams is highlighted in the study of Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue). Based on a cross-sectional survey in Hong Kong, the authors concluded that Hong Kong firms use cross-functional teams equally for innovative and non-innovative new products while earlier studies report that US firms use multi-functional teams more for innovative new products and less for non-innovative products (Griffin, 1997). They suggested that either (i) Hong Kong firms are not aware of the available organizational structures and unnecessarily use multinational teams even when they are not necessary or (ii) teamwork is part of Asian business culture and people perform better if they work in teams no matter what the task is. 2.6. Entrepreneurship orientation Entrepreneurship orientation is usually defined as the propensity of a firm's top management to take calculated risks, to be innovative, and to demonstrate proactiveness (Morris & Paul, 1987). Because it provides an environment for learning and taking risk, it has been suggested that it is associated with greater performance in NPD, which requires learning and risk taking (Drucker, 1985, Li et al., 2006-this issue, Lumpkin and Dess, 1996 and Quinn, 1985). In a cross-sectional study among Chinese firms, Li et al. (2006-this issue) showed that entrepreneurship orientation was significantly and positively related to improvement of NPD in China, confirming the relevance of this factor in China. 2.7. NPD strategies It has long been known that firms are increasingly taking a strategic viewpoint in their NPD processes and that the adoption of this viewpoint is positively related to new product success (Ozer, 2004). A strategic viewpoint enables firms to achieve sustainable product innovation by making NPD more meaningful to people in the firm and by facilitating their active and deliberate engagement in the NPD process (Dougherty and Hardy, 1996 and Ozer, 2005). In a cross-sectional survey of companies in Hong Kong, Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) found that Hong Kong companies also emphasize a strategic viewpoint in their NPD activities. As an exception for the use of a strategic approach in NPD, Siu et al. (2006-this issue) found that due to their small size, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the greater China region, including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, did not have a specific corporate strategy that directs and integrates their NPD activities. 2.8. Innovation orientation Innovation orientation refers to a firm's strategy to develop and introduce innovative new products into the market before their competitors (Kerin, Varadarajan, & Peterson, 1992). Because of its economic, preemptive, technological, and behavioral benefits, numerous Western studies have emphasized the importance of following an innovation strategy (Bowman and Gatignon, 1996, Carpenter and Nakamoto, 1989, Lieberman and Montgomery, 1988 and Robinson and Min, 2002). Consistently, based on a case study of 12 Chinese Business-to-Business (B-to-B) firms, Beverland et al. (2006-this issue) found that an innovation orientation was more effective than an imitation orientation, supporting earlier research conducted in the West on the increased likelihood of success for NPD launches by targeting new markets with radical innovations. Similarly, Zhou (2006-this issue) reports based on a cross-sectional survey that, compared with an imitation strategy, an innovation strategy has a greater impact on new product success in China. Although the findings from China are consistent with the findings of Western studies that suggested that an innovation orientation is positively related to new product success, as Zhou (2006-this issue) notes, they are inconsistent with the current belief that, given Chinese consumers' low consumption power, limited product experience, and frugal tradition, an imitation strategy with a low price may be the key to business success in China (Kotler, 2002). Zhou (2006-this issue) offers several possible explanations for this counterintuitive finding. First, after many years of isolation from the rest of the world prior to 1979 and then years of rapid economic growth, Chinese consumers may be eager to try innovative products. Second, the Chinese are known for their propensity to “follow the leader,” which means that Chinese consumers naturally have a positive attitude toward and desire for top-ranked products (Tse, 1996). 2.9. Contingencies of an innovation orientation Although the importance of innovation orientation is well established in the Western literature, there is also an emerging literature suggesting that the choice of an innovation or imitation strategy will depend on both external and internal factors (Golder and Tellis, 1993, Kerin et al., 1992, Lieberman and Montgomery, 1998 and Szymanski et al., 1995). Consistent with this contingency view, Iyer et al. (2006-this issue) present a conceptual model and several case examples from India to identify specific conditions when following an innovative or imitative strategy in NPD will be more suitable. Most notable, they suggest that (i) incremental innovation would be more successful than radical innovation in countries where the infrastructure does not provide support necessary for the commercialization of an innovation; (ii) with increasing levels of economic development, institutional conditions are created that foster the imperatives for radical innovation; (iii) institutional conditions would impact the success of radical innovations, especially in developing countries; and (iv) as the target market size for the firm increases, firms will shift the product development strategy from one of continuous innovation to focus more on radical innovations for NPD. One of the contingency factors that have been suggested in the Western studies is that the impact of an innovation strategy will be lower when demand uncertainty is high (Golder and Tellis, 1993 and Kerin et al., 1992). However, Zhou (2006-this issue) shows in a cross-sectional survey that demand uncertainty does not hurt the performance of innovators in China. He suggested that because Chinese customers have limited exposure and knowledge about innovative products, firms in China may be more successful if they offer products that satisfy customers' latent needs and invoke customer demand by shaping the way customers behave (Hamel and Prahalad, 1994 and Zhou et al., 2002). Consequently, a product innovation strategy works better when the demand is uncertain by leading the changes in market demand (Zhou, 2006-this issue). Another contingency factor suggested in the Western literature is that rapid technological changes tend to offset the pioneering advantage because the appearance of replacement technology provides imitators with the opportunity to catch up with the pioneers quickly (Golder and Tellis, 1993 and Kerin et al., 1992). However, Zhou (2006-this issue) reports in a cross-sectional survey that the benefit of an innovation strategy over an imitation strategy is stronger in times of rapid technological changes in China. He argues that in developing economies, the trajectory of technological development may follow the trajectory that takes place in developed economies. Hence, unlike in developed markets, technological changes in China may be more predictable. Because of their technological leadership, innovators may be able to identify next-generation technologies from what happens in developed markets and then be prepared to embrace and take advantage of these new technologies (Zhou, 2006-this issue). 2.10. Innovative marketing strategies Although it has not been tested in the West, the current understanding in the West is that when a new product is marketed by using innovative marketing strategies that are different from competitors' strategies and conventional practices, the position of the new product in the marketplace is strengthened above and beyond the value conveyed by its physical characteristics, and as a result, there is a positive relationship between the use of innovative marketing strategies and new product success (Andrews and Smith, 1996, Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995, Hambrick et al., 1996, Menon et al., 1999 and Verona, 1999). Atuahene-Gima et al. (2006-this issue) first found that in the case of Chinese new technology ventures, innovative marketing strategies are negatively related to performance and then showed that the negative direct effect can be turned into positive by extra-industry relationship and deployment in turbulent market environments or further worsened by intra-industry relationships, relationships with financial institutions and deployment in technologically turbulent environments. The authors offered at least three possible explanations for the difference, including (1) at the most basic level, the direct relationship between innovative marketing strategies and performance is simply more complex than hypothesized (but not fully tested) by marketing scholars in the Western context; (2) the relationship between innovative marketing strategies and performance is contingent on cultural differences (e.g., in the extent to which customers in different contexts are receptive toward rule-breaking marketing strategies); (3) the relationship between innovative marketing strategies and performance is contingent on product innovativeness. 2.11. NPD process Past research has consistently shown that a high quality NPD process is one of the most critical success factors in NPD (Griffin, 1997). Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) compared the use of formal NPD processes in Hong Kong to that in the US and found that both Hong Kong and US firms use formal NPD processes; however, the US firms use them more than do the Hong Kong firms. The authors suggest that given that the studies about the best NPD practices in the US date back to 1960s and the widespread dissemination of such information through numerous publications and conferences in the US, it is not surprising to find that NPD processes are more widely used in the US than they are in Hong Kong. 2.12. Appointment of project managers Another issue that has received a considerable attention in the Western literature is the appointment of project managers. A cross-sectional survey in the US indicated that on average 30% of NPD teams selected their leaders whereas on average 70% of them had a leader who was appointed by top management (Griffin, 1997). In a cross-sectional study in Hong Kong, Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) found that the majority of team leaders were appointed by top management (90%), reflecting the autocratic nature of running business in Hong Kong. 2.13. Rewarding team members Past research in the West has consistently found that non-financial rewards are very popular and project-based financial rewards are seldom used in rewarding the NPD personnel in the West (Griffin, 1997). However, in a cross-sectional survey in Hong Kong, Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) found that Hong Kong companies used both financial and non-financial rewards in rewarding their NPD personnel. The authors refer to Griffin's (1997) observation that suggested that the choice of different types of rewards depends on the tax implications of the reward, the higher its impact on tax obligations the less likely that it will be used. Since the tax rates are relatively lower in Hong Kong than are in the US, financial rewards are used more often in Hong Kong than are in the US. 2.14. Success rate New product success has been an important issue in NPD research. Past surveys in the US indicate that the average success rate is 59% in the US (Griffin, 1997). In addition, in the US, 100 ideas lead to 15.2 successful new products, or put differently, US firms need 6.6 initial ideas for every successful new product. In their cross-sectional survey in Hong Kong, Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) found that the success rate in Hong Kong is 44.91% and 100 ideas lead to 2.15 successful new products or Hong Kong companies need 46.51 initial ideas for every successful new product. The authors argue that US firms seem to be more successful than Hong Kong firms partially because, as reported in Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue), compared to Hong Kong firms, more US firms use a NPD process; they use more NPD steps; and they are more flexible in terms of the organizational structures. Since all these factors are positively related to new product success, US firms are more successful. 2.15. Cycle time As part of the NPD outcomes, it is also important to know the amount of time it takes to develop new products and ways to reduce it. Past surveys in the West indicate that US firms spend on average 23.8 months to develop an “innovative” new product (Griffin, 1997). On the other hand, Ozer and Chen (2006-this issue) report that Hong Kong firms from different industries spend on average 12.94 months to develop it, reflecting the fast pace of doing business in Hong Kong and also partially explaining why the success rate is lower in Hong Kong.