Inderscience Publishers

Learning barriers in continuous product innovation

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In today's dynamic and turbulent environment companies are required to increase their effectiveness and efficiency, exploit synergy and learn product innovation processes in order to build competitive advantage. To be able to stimulate and facilitate learning in product innovation, it is necessary to gain an insight into factors that hinder learning and to design effective intervention strategies that may help remove barriers to learning. This article reports on learning barriers identified by product innovation managers in over 70 companies in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden and Australia. The results show that the majority of the barriers identified can be labelled as organisational defensive routines leading to a chain of behaviours; lack of resources leads to under-appreciation of the value of valid information, absence of informed choice and lack of personal responsibility. An intervention theory is required which enables individuals and organisations to interrupt defensive patterns in ways that prevents them from recurring.

Keywords: continuous product innovation, learning, learning barriers

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