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Title: Exploring customer definition and representation in market-driven NPD in ICT Industry
Authors: Majava, J
Nuottila, J
Haapasalo, H
Law, KMY
Keywords: Customer
New product development (NPD)
Product development
Product management
Research and development (R&D)
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Science Target
Source: International journal of business development research, 2013, v. 1, no. 2, p. 20-39 How to cite?
Journal: International journal of business development research 
Abstract: This paper studies product management and R&D managers’ views of customer definition and representation in market-driven NPD in ICT industry, when products are developed for a large number of customers. In market-driven context, the customers have different priorities and certain customers may even drive the efforts, but individual customers neither participate directly in the development nor dictate product functionality.
Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a literature review and an empirical study at the managerial level in two case projects. Findings: Company management and strategy outline customer definition. Product management collaborates with various stakeholders including marketing, sales, management, direct customers, and end-users in customer definition. Product management was found to be the most important customer representative with regards to R&D. However, other information sources are also utilized.
Research limitations/implications: The study focuses on ICT industry, and two case projects may not offer a generalized picture of the topic. Future work should extend the study to cover more industry sectors and companies. Practical implications: Company management and strategy must guide customer definition, and management must ensure that product management teams are appropriately resourced and competent. A systematic way of working and good collaboration among product management, R&D, and other internal stakeholders is needed. While a focus on select customers is important, other customers in the value chain must also be considered. Product management and R&D professionals should also have some direct contact with customers to ensure proper customer understanding and to tackle conflicting internal stakeholder views.
Originality/value: Past literature emphasizes customer orientation and crossfunctional integration, especially between R&D and marketing. However, prior work has not adequately distinguished between the product management and marketing functions in market-driven NPD. Companies can utilize the study findings to improve their product development focus.
ISSN: 1929-0977
Appears in Collections:Journal/Magazine Article

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