Saturday, October 21, 2006

PDMA 2006 Research Forum – 10/21/06 Morning (cont.)

Operationalization of the Garcia and Calantone innovation typology (Darroch, Miles, Jardine)
This session was best summarized by this quote from their write-up: “Our findings demonstrate that no matter what type of innovation a firm pursues, those within the firm need to have a clear and deep understanding of consumer needs (both explicit and latent) and the broader market conditions that may impact upon current and future consumers.”

Understanding Firm Innovativeness (Calabretta, Durisin)
Research question: How can we measure whether firms are innovative or not?

This is a particular question for Italy, where the researchers are from, because patenting activity is lower than all other European countries there and most companies have fewer than 20 employees.

Firm innovativeness was defined as the propensity of the firm to innovate and at the same time the capability of delivering successful products or services.

The results are only preliminary, but it suggests that having an innovative corporate personality is not very important compared to attention paid to strategy, planning, and making product-related decisions.

Going beyond technology: constituents of newness in ‘content-specific experiential products’ (Ece)
This researcher wanted to challenge what ‘new’ means for a product. iPods are the typical example NPD researchers care about. But what about the non-technological products like books (Harry Potter), movies (Da Vinci Code), songs. They are experiential. They are successful, proliferate, but researchers in NPD ignore them.

Experiential products – dominant emphasis on consumption experience, main benefit is pleasure and hedonic value.

Utilitatarian products – utility is the emphasis

What are the elements of newness or experiential products? She consulted with literature experts and identified a few components of newness of experiential products, but I couldn’t get their differences.

One thing she reports is that it’s better to play with the consumer’s expectations a little than go with something completely new. It makes a less risky purchase, which speaks to the success of familiar pleasures and subtle newness.

Why not ascribe an economic value to pleasure so that experiential products can be treated like utilitatarian products? After all, eventually, they do all come back to economics because you have to pay for them.

Development of Market Efficiency Technological Innovation (Harmancioglu)
Nukhet won the PDMA Dissertation Award last year. She came this year to present the conclusion of the research that the award funded.

What’s really interesting about this research is how much it leverages the quantitative analysis of existing literature asking the same questions. This type of research is called “meta-analysis”. Here were some of her conclusions from one of her studies:

  • NPD process execution is the key to achieving positional advantages in the market. Being proficient at ideation, for instance, will affect your end-product’s performance.
  • Development speed reduces the degree of the customer need met.
  • Project formality provides cost efficiencies, but project climate (e.g. cross-functionality) increases speed—both lead to better execution. So collaborate, but not too much.
  • Product advantage is more important as the market demand shrinks and the competition becomes more intense.


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