The seminar will report preliminary research results of an ongoing multi-method study programme focusing on NPD portfolio flexibility and its impact on product innovation effectiveness. Here, flexibility refers to afirm’s propensity to partially invest in several innovation projects and tosequentially commit more resources to a select subset of these projects asmore information is gained over time. We use MIP data to substantiate thepositive relationship between flexibility and innovation performance derived from the literature on strategic management under uncertainty and on funnel-based new product development. It appears that the relationship is not linear but has a local optimum. The relationship holds when controlling for innovation intensity and is moderated by the uncertainty and velocity of an industry, and by organisational heterogeneity in size and age. We triangulate the results by analysing flexibility’s impact on new product performance in a detailed panel data set of the mobile handset industry. Finally, we bring in qualitative findings from content analysis of multiple case studies in the telecommunications industry to assess under which conditions higher NPD portfolio flexibility leads to increased returns on product innovation efforts. We find that organisational antecedents, such as process complexity, project diversity, and payoff ambiguity, as well as managerial capabilities, such as options-aware selection decision-making and stringent process governance, determine the benefit of pruning NPD portfolios over time. Our findings have significant implications for firms struggling to innovate in today’s uncertain market environments.The talk integrates multiple working papers which can be provided uponrequest after the seminar.


Ronald Klingebiel


31.03.2009 | 16:00 Uhr

Event Location

ZEW, L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim