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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Technovation, Volume 31, Issues 10–11, October–November 2011, Pages 598–612
Few studies have attempted to investigate the following: (1) whether the firm's core capabilities or resources and routines (e.g., integration among functions) for product development, in the presence of environmental dynamics, become incumbent inertia or core rigidities? and (2) how environmental dynamics affect the influence of a project team's implementation capabilities in the new product development (NPD) process on new product launch performance? This study approaches these questions by addressing the three most indispensable NPD process components (i.e., marketing, technology, and organization) and incorporating new moderators, namely pace of technological change and competitive intensity, within a single study. It specifically examines the extent to which the latter two external environmental variables moderate the impact of NPD practices on new product launch outcome. Data obtained from a survey of NPD projects developed and launched by Korean manufacturers suggest that environmental dynamics would reduce the contribution of functional-specific sources of advantage (resources) and project-specific sources of advantage (e.g., integration among functions) to organizational implementation capabilities (i.e., a project team's proficiency in executing NPD activities). Moreover, the research also shows that market dynamics may increase the contribution of organizational implementation capabilities to NPD project performance.
Dynamic markets characterized by shifting technologies and market competition, pose additional challenges for new product development (NPD) project managers who must remain alert and responsive to emerging technical and market information over the course of a project (Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995). However, except for a few studies (e.g., Bstieler, 2005, Fernández et al., 2010, Song and Montoya-Weiss, 2001, Song and Parry, 1997b, Song et al., 2005 and Souder and Song, 1998), previous investigations have paid relatively little attention to examining the interactions between external environmental variables (e.g., competitive intensity and technological turbulence) and determinants of NPD project outcome that are more readily controlled by the firm, such as functional-specific sources of advantage (i.e., marketing synergy and technology synergy), project-specific sources of advantage (i.e., coordination routines such as cross-functional integration), and quality of implementation in the NPD process or organizational implementation capabilities (i.e., the NPD project team's proficiency in conducting marketing and technical activities). Previous research provides evidence to support the moderating role of external environmental variables in determining NPD outcomes (Song and Montoya-Weiss, 2001, Song et al., 2005 and Song and Parry, 1997b). For example, external environments weaken the impact of positional advantage on new product success (Song and Montoya-Weiss, 2001 and Song and Parry, 1997b). However, there is relatively little empirical research that addresses whether a firm's core capabilities or resources and organizational routines become incumbent inertia or core rigidities in the presence of market and technological uncertainty. Moreover, implementation capabilities are significant mediators of the relationships between functional-specific sources of advantage, project-specific sources of advantage, and new product performance (e.g., Lee and Wong, 2010, Song and Parry, 1997b and Song et al., 1997c). By implication, even the best core resources and capabilities will not translate into higher levels of new product performance, but, rather, contingent on expediency in completing process activities. While these prior studies have examined mediational roles of internal, NPD project variables in influencing NPD project outcomes, empirical testing of the moderating role of external environmental forces (e.g., competition) on the NPD process and project outcomes remain relatively sparse. Therefore, the present study refocuses attention on the moderating influences of external forces and sheds further light on the mechanisms by which these variables impact the relationships among functional-specific and project-specific sources of advantage, organizational implementation capabilities, and new product launch performance. A fuller understanding of these mechanisms should provide a useful benchmark for NPD managerial decisions concerning the optimum ways of allocating resources to the NPD process and expected outcomes. Importantly, it will yield deeper insights into how, and the extent to which, a firm's response to external forces might control the translation of core marketing and technical resources, and project routines into resultant implementation capabilities and launch performance. Our study seeks to strengthen understanding of the effects of external environmental forces on NPD activities and performance, and to contribute to the NPD literature by focusing on two questions that are relatively neglected in previous work: (1) do the firm's resources and routines (e.g., integration among functions) for product development, in the presence of environmental dynamics, become incumbent inertia or core rigidities? and (2) how do environmental dynamics affect the influence of a project team's implementation capabilities in the NPD process on new product launch performance? The above questions address the notion that NPD process outcomes may be contingent on external environmental forces, which can be regarded as presenting both a constraint on, and an opportunity for, leveraging the firm's internal processes (Song and Parry, 1997a and Song and Parry, 1997b). However, we more specifically examine core NPD capabilities at a project level and extend Song et al.'s study (2005) that investigated the role of technology turbulence in determining the impacts of technology-related capabilities, marketing-related capabilities, and their interaction (marketing-related capabilities x technology-related capabilities) effects on firm performance (i.e., profit, sales, and ROI) relative to joint venture objectives. We propose the impacts of both types of external environmental dynamics (technology and competition) within a single model to clarify the flows from NPD project resources/routines, to implementation capabilities, and outcomes. This paper makes three primary contributions to the NPD literature. First, this paper suggests that environmental dynamics would reduce the contributions of resources and routines to a project team's implementation capabilities in product development. Second, the research also shows that market dynamics may increase the contribution of the project team's implementation capabilities in the NPD process to organizational performance (in terms of project performance). Third, the present study will examine the aforementioned influences of environmental dynamics on NPD resources, routines, implementation capabilities, and new product project outcome in a sample of South Korean manufacturers. In doing so, we add to the limited data concerning NPD undertaken by firms in non-western, emerging economies. A few studies addressing NPD practices in Korean sample settings (e.g., Song et al., 1997c, Song and Noh, 2006 and Thieme et al., 2003), have focused on the determinants of new product performance (e.g., skills and resources, marketing activity proficiency, project environment, project leadership, strategic fit, process, product positioning strategies, project manager style and skills, senior management support, cross-functional integration, and planning proficiency), but have not incorporated external environments as moderator variables.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our study contributes to the literature in several ways. The findings reaffirm the importance of adopting a contingency perspective in examining links between key determinants of NPD and new product launch success and reinforce Song and his colleagues’ works on NPD process and the relationship between capabilities and performance. The results from our study suggest that external environments weaken the positive impacts of core capabilities such as functional-specific sources of advantages (resources) and project-specific sources of advantages (routines) on implementation capabilities (development proficiency) because of incumbent inertia or core rigidity. In particular, we examined the extent to which competitive intensity and technology change amplify the effects of implementation capabilities on overall new product launch success. In certain cases, firms can improve new product launch performance by seizing the opportunity to capitalize on technological change and competitive climates: as our findings show, sample firms reported higher new product launch success when marketing activities were proficiently executed, in conditions of intense competition and when technical activities were proficiently executed, in conditions of rapidly changing technology. The theoretical framework and empirical results have several managerial implications. First, the study draws managers’ attention to the importance of improving marketing and technology synergies and skills with particular emphasis on ongoing learning practices and mechanisms for learning (e.g., market assessment, technology assessment, product testing, prototype testing, test marketing, and launch assessment) in order to offset the negative effects of a firm's embedded marketing and technology resources and knowledge on a project team's implementation capabilities in the NPD process in dynamic markets. Second, to increase new product launch performance in dynamic markets, managers should pay closer attention to improving the skills base of employees. Specifically, firms operating in intensely competitive markets should focus their efforts on raising proficiency in marketing activities, while those in markets characterized by rapid technological change should focus their efforts on raising proficiency in technical activities. The study also has a number of limitations, which should be taken on board when interpreting the findings. Common method variance is an issue that survey research must always acknowledge. Although this bias was not found using the Harman's single factor test (Podsakoff et al., 2003), future research should consider using different sources of data to ensure to minimize common method bias. Our study is subject to the limitations created by employing a single respondent instead of multiple respondents from participating firms. It may be beneficial to use multiple respondents in future research to enhance validity and generalizability (Phillips, 1981). The problems of employing a cross-sectional design and collecting both independent and dependent variables simultaneously at a given point of time could also be overcome using longitudinal studies (Slater, 1995). However, the latter can be time-consuming and are not without their limitations. We focused on studying a limited number of variables. Additional research will be useful to gain a better understanding of the relationships uncovered in this study. Future investigations of the NPD process should consider additional moderators in the proposed relationships. For instance, industry munificence (or growth) may be important. In addition, internal, firm factors, such as organizational structure (e.g., centralization and formalization) and firm size (e.g., large versus small firms), and product factors (e.g., high tech versus low tech product) may be important moderators in explaining the inter-relationships between components of the NPD and outcomes.