Do New Product Development Managers in Large or High-Market-Share Firms Perceive Marketing - R&D Interface Principles Differently?
Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 323-333, September 1995
11 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2006
In the quest for successful innovation, the importance of the R&D/marketing interface is virtually unquestioned. For many organizations, however, effective integration of technical and marketing functions is difficult, if not impossible. Despite seemingly widespread understanding of fundamental new product principles, some companies still manage to gain a larger share of the market than their competitors. This raises the question of whether managers in more successful companies have special insights into R&D/marketing interface principles that give them an edge over their competitors.
To gain a better understanding of managers' perceptions of new product principles defined in the academic literature, Ted Haggblom, Roger J. Calantone, and C. Anthony Di Benedetto conducted a survey of 687 nonacademic members of the Product Development and Management Association. The basis for the survey was a set of 78 product management principles compiled from a search of more than 500 books and articles from various disciplines. From this survey, 14 of the 78 principles were selected as relevant to the study reported in this article. The principles discussed in this article involve such issues as resistance to change, short-term orientation, communication and trust between marketing and technical people, the effect of centralized decision-making on innovation, the importance of open communication flows, senior management's role in the R&D/marketing interface, and the necessity of a product champion.
The primary question addressed in this study is whether managers from successful companies perceive these principles differently from managers of less successful firms. The study provides partial support for the proposition that managers' perceptions of these new product principles depend on their company's success. In other words, the survey results suggest that managers in companies with higher market shares tend to agree more strongly with these principles than their counterparts in less successful firms.
The study also explores the relationship between firm size and agreement with these principles of new product success. Specifically, the study assesses whether the perceptions of managers from smaller, more entrepreneurial companies differ from those of managers in larger companies. Although managers from small and large firms may view these principles from different perspectives, there were no statistically significant differences in the perceptions of managers from small and large firms.
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