Inderscience Publishers

How German measurement and control firms integrate market and technological knowledge into the front end of new product development

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During the last five years, researchers and practitioners in the field of technology and innovation management have been paying increased attention to the fuzzy front end of innovation, which ranges from opportunity identification to the go/no go decision for development. Nevertheless, little is known about the fuzzy front end in practice. This article examines the fuzzy front end of new product development projects in German measurement and control firms. For this purpose, every German company in that area was asked to describe the development process for the last product it introduced to the market. One hundred forty-four fully completed questionnaires were returned. The focus of the study is on how to integrate market and technological knowledge into the fuzzy front end. In addition, results are compared to theoretical and empirical findings.

Keywords: innovation, fuzzy front end, idea generation, new product development, project selection, project planning, technological knowledge, market knowledge, Germany

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