Inderscience Publishers

Managing product and customer knowledge in innovative new product development

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In a digital economy, companies face intensive competition and a changing market situation, and thus they make efforts in Knowledge Management (KM) by understanding that knowledge creation is a spiral process of interaction between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge so as to enhance their competitive advantage in innovation. Product innovation must link technological competence such as engineering and process know-how as well as customer competence such as knowledge of customer needs. The importance of KM in product technological innovation has been critically recognised, whereas the potential for customer KM is not pervasively studied. This inspires the demand to study how congruently managing product knowledge and customer knowledge with the support of Information Technology (IT), does enable the conversion of tacit knowledge into codified knowledge for creating value and reducing risk. It also arouses the motivation to propose an integrated KM model to deal with a high technology product development project.

Keywords: technological innovation, knowledge management, KM, tacit knowledge conversion, customer relationship management, CRM, market research, data mining, market segmentation, technology management, new product development, NPD, product innovation, value creation, risk reduction, high technology firms, high tech industry

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