Inderscience Publishers

The internal entrepreneur as a catalyst to successful product development: a case study

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Product development is an essential part of the total innovation process. This paper describes some of the elements that are indispensable for successful product development. The advancement of the circuit breaker, a product that is used to make or break the flow of electrical current, is analysed over a period of almost 30 years. During this time, it becomes clear that continuous improvement in technology relies heavily on individual personalities – the internal entrepreneur – and the creative climate these personalities create. The following description of the processes used in research and product development sheds new light on the importance of the individual researcher, his motivation and passion – often underestimated in the technology management concepts presented in the last three decades.

Keywords: research and development, product development, innovation, internal entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, motivation, continuous improvement, team spirit, enterprise culture

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