Effect of An Improvisational Approach to New Product Development during a Crisis: An Empirical Study of Npd Teams in the Field of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
Yassir Mahmoud Samra1, Jonathan B. Hartman1, Gary S. Lynn2, and Richard R. Reilly3. (1) Management & Marketing, Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, School of Business, Riverdale, NY 10471, (2) Spencer Trask, 535 Madision Ave., New York, NY 10022, (3) Management, Stevens Institute of Technology, Castle Point on Hudson, Hoboken, NJ 07030
For many years, past studies have supported the hypothesis that a traditional new product development process increases the odds of faster product launch and greater new product success. More recent studies have shown that an improvisational approach is also associated with a faster and/or successful new product launch. The two schools of the thought have addressed different environments in which new product development operates in. However, there seems to be a lacuna in the scholarship on new product development when studying the effects of a NPD process as the organization experiences a crisis. The purpose of this paper is to examine the possible moderating effect a crisis can have on the relationship between an improvisational approach and both the speed and the success of the new product launched. Using a specially designed questionnaire, 301 NPD project managers working on products associated with the field of chemistry and chemical engineering were asked their opinion of their team's use of an improvisational NPD process on their most recently completed NPD project, the degree to which they felt the NPD team was operating during crisis, as well as how fast they were in launching the new product and how successful the new product was in the market. The results indicate that while a crisis is positively associated with improvisation, speed and success, it does not moderate the relationship between an improvisational approach and neither speed nor success.