Reducing project related uncertainty in the ‘fuzzy front end’ of innovation: a comparison of German and Japanese product innovation projects

Cornelius Herstatt, Birgit Verworn, Akio Nagahira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper, we report on the results of an exploratory study including 28 innovation projects carried out by 14 German and 13 Japanese companies to reduce project uncertainty. In all cases we observed a range of activities to reduce project specific uncertainties and revealed differences in the practice of innovation management in both the German and Japanese companies. The focus of our research was the so-called ‘fuzzy front end’, activities and typical deliverables in the innovation process, which might be affected by front end management practice. Overall, in the case of the German as well as the Japanese projects, the uncertainties affected by the market or technology could successfully be reduced during the ‘fuzzy front end’ and the majority of projects achieved their objectives and efficiency targets. Nevertheless, our study revealed differences in the way such uncertainties were reduced by the companies in Japan and Germany.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-65
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Product Development
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fuzzy front end
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • idea generation
  • innovation risk
  • project planning
  • project selection
  • uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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