Inderscience Publishers

New product development success factors in American and British firms

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This paper presents a comparative study on New Product Development (NPD) success factors between American and British firms. Our analysis is based on an in-depth survey of 49 British firms (58 successful and 41 unsuccessful projects) and 38 American companies (59 successful and 50 unsuccessful projects). The selected firms represent key industrial sectors of computer, electronics, chemical and transportation. Research variables are selected based on chronological and process relations to perform the NPD, which include design, organisational, marketing, product and technology company factors. Structured statistical methods have been employed to identify critical success factors and differences between the two countries. Findings are discussed against previous NPD comparative studies, published between 1972-97, including the evolved conditions around the NPD process. Various success factors were found common between the USA and UK, such as to have a strategic market focus. However, some factors had a different impact degree in each of the countries. For example, being first to the market was found to be more relevant for success in the USA than in the UK. Although the overall success rate of new products launched was the same for the USA and UK, US firms launched twice as many products as their UK counterparts.

Keywords: new product development, USA and UK, innovation strategies, critical success factors, organisational, design, marketing and technology

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