Performance of Global New Product Development Programs: A Resource-Based View

Søren Salomo, Elko J. Kleinschmidt, Ulrike De Brentani

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Gaining a competitive edge in today's turbulent business environment calls for a commitment by firms to two highly interrelated strategies: globalization and new product development (NPD). Although much research has focused on how companies achieve NPD success, little of this deals with NPD in the global setting. The authors use resource-based theory (RBT)—a model emphasizing the resources and capabilities of the firm as primary determinants of competitive advantage—to explain how companies involved in international NPD realize superior performance. The capabilities RBT model is used to test how firms achieve superior performance by deploying organizational capabilities to take advantage of key organizational resources relevant for developing new products for global markets. Specifically, the study evaluates (1) organizational NPD resources (i.e., the firm's global innovation culture, attitude to resource commitment, top-management involvement, and NPD process formality); (2) NPD process capabilities or routines for identifying and exploiting new product opportunities (i.e., global knowledge integration, NPD homework activities, and launch preparation); and (3) global NPD program performance. Based on data from 387 global NPD programs (North America and Europe, business-to-business), a structural model testing for the hypothesized mediation effects of NPD process capabilities on organizational NPD resources was largely supported. The findings indicate that all four resources considered relevant for effective deployment of global NPD process capabilities play a significant role. Specifically, a positive attitude toward resource commitment as well as NPD process formality is essential for the effective deployment of the three NPD process routines linked to achieving superior global NPD program performance; a strong global innovation culture is needed for ensuring effective global knowledge integration; and top-management involvement plays a key role in deploying both knowledge integration and launch preparation. Of the three NPD process capabilities, global knowledge integration is the most important, whereas homework and launch preparation also play a significant role in bringing about global NPD program success. Tests for partial mediation suggest that too much process formality may be negative and that top-management involvement requires careful focus.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)419-441
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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