The impact of front end innovation in new product development in Japanese manufacturing companies

Yong Cao, Li Zhao, Akio Nagahira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore fuzzy front end (FFE) of new product development (NPD) in Japanese manufacturing companies and report on the key factors for success with regard to the front end activities of NPD. Design/methodology/approach – On the basis of the literature review, the authors lay out an analytical framework and hypothesis and develop and test a causal model of relationships among key variables relating to the front end factors and success. The causal model is tested with AMOS using information from 513 completed NPD projects from Japanese manufacturing companies. Findings – The results of this study are summarized as follows: first, the more both market and technical uncertainties are reduced during the front end, the higher is the effectiveness of NPD projects. Second, the more intensively new projects are planned prior to the start of development, the more both market and technical uncertainties are reduced. Finally, in the industry goods firms, it is easy for managers to develop the initial planning, and it has a greater impact on reduction of market uncertainty compared to the consumer goods firms. Research limitations/implications – First, it is the scope and size of the sample. Our research mainly focuses on the precision apparatus, chemical and material products, electronic products, food processing and pharmaceutical industry in Japan. Second, the research concentrates less on the interaction between initial planning, planning changes and process management style. Practical implications – The paper provides several insights that will help managers to improve the success of their NPD activities. Originality/value – The paper provides additional evidence regarding the strong positive effect of FFE activities on NPD success. The model presented enhances understanding of the dynamics of the FFE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-113
Number of pages16
JournalNankai Business Review International
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 8

Keywords

  • Japan
  • Manufacturing industries
  • New products
  • Product development
  • Uncertainty management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management

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