New Product Development Speed: Too Much of a Good Thing?
Journal of Production Innovation Management, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 288-303, 2012
16 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2012 Last revised: 23 Feb 2013
Date Written: September 24, 2012
New product development (NPD) speed has become increasingly important for managing innovation in fast-changing business environments. In this work, we question the implicit assumption that speed has a linear relationship with success from the perspectives of time-compression diseconomies and absorptive capacity. We further argue that time-compression diseconomies depend on the levels of uncertainty involved in NPD projects. Using survey data from 471 NPD projects, we found that NPD speed has a reverse U-shaped relationship with new product success, and the nature of the speed–success relationship varies depending on type and level of uncertainty. The findings suggest NPD teams take different time-based strategies in emerging markets versus fast-changing markets. Moreover, NPD teams need to balance how fast they can go with how fast they need to go by considering team and customer absorptive capacity.
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