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Title: A multidimensional perspective on agile product innovation and factors affecting its performance
Author: Tavani, Saeed Najafi
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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The successful introduction of new products is argued to be the lifeblood of most organisations in the pertinent literature. In current dynamic competitive situation, product innovation is intensely becoming an important strategic goal for firms, mainly as a result of three co-emerging trends: intense international competition, fragmented and demanding markets, and diverse and rapidly changing technologies. Dealing with this situation has obliged entrepreneurs and researchers to examine and employ different mechanisms and strategies that can facilitate successful achievement of innovations characterised with high levels of novelty. Despite extensive body of literature on product innovation, concerns exist related to inconsistent results regarding the impact of different factors such as market orientation dimensions, supplier involvement, absorptive capacity, and environmental turbulence elements on firms' new product performance. Such limitations in the existing knowledge and literature of the subject are partly associated with the adopted measures for new product performance. New emerging theories suggest that such measures should be extended to include other intermediate and innovation and agility related measures in order to accommodate for uncertainties in the firm's business environment. Such necessities call for adoption of new theories and perspectives to address the problems and inform the body of the knowledge. This research is an original attempt to fill this gap to some degrees. Adopting the agility concept and consequently agile supply chain framework, this research attempts to address the gap first by developing a multidimensional perspective on product innovation, and second by introducing multiple and two dimensional measure for new product performance (i.e. general and agility), which is termed as Agile Product Innovation (API). In this scenario, a firm's agility in product innovation is entered as one dimension of the product performance to accommodate a multidimensional perspective. The main purpose of this research therefore is to employ agility concept to develop a contingency perspective of relationships between market orientation dimensions (i.e. responsive and proactive), supplier involvement, absorptive capacity, environmental turbulence factors and agile product innovation performance. By adopting a quantitative research method, a survey of manufacturing sector companies with innovation characteristics was conducted. The results while reaffirm some of the existing theories of the subject, provide some differing views on the issues·. allowing projection of new insight on the approach to product innovation. The key findings and contributions of this research are three-fold: Firstly, this study examined the impact of environmental turbulence factors (technological turbulence and competitive intensity). In particular, market turbulence was introduced as a new addition to the study of market orientation-product performance relationships stemming from agility theory. The results reveal a complex set of relationships between the two dimensions of market orientation and API depending on the intensity of the environmental turbulence factors. The results show that in turbulent environment proactive market orientation strategy should not exceed some levels as it begins to fall into a negative effect. Also a fixed strategy for market orientation is proven ineffective and instead firms should develop their market orientation strategy based on environmental turbulence factors. Secondly, the research also examined the relationship between absorptive capacity and agile product innovation performance. Research findings suggest absorptive capacity as a competitive factor that can provide the grounds for proactively winning in the product innovation game through increasing agility capabilities. Thirdly, the study further investigated the contingent relationship between supplier involvement and API performance. As a result the research suggests that complex relationship between supplier involvement and product innovation performance is varied depending on factors such as innovation life-cycle, teclmological turbulence, and absorptive capacity. Generally the results from the research support the proposition of product innovation performance multidimensionality where achievements beyond financial and market related factors playa critical role. The results also shows that any approach to study the strategy and process of innovation in firms and the effects of collaboration with suppliers and other external sources of knowledge should regard the strategies adopted by the frrm regarding their business environment particularly the market in terms of agile capabilities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available