Title: Achieving sustained innovation performance through strategic flexibility of new product development

Authors: Tauno Kekale, Petra De Weerd-Nederhof, Klaasjan Visscher, Ger Bos

Addresses: Department of Production, University of Vaasa, Wolffintie 34, P.O. Box 700, FIN-65101, Vaasa, Finland. ' Department of Technology and Organization, School of Business, Public Administration and Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' Department of Technology and Organization, School of Business, Public Administration and Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands. ' Department of Technology and Organization, School of Business, Public Administration and Technology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Sustained innovation performance is traditionally measured in terms of New Product Development (NPD) Strategic Flexibility (SF), which is defined as the readiness to adapt to, anticipate or create future NPD performance requirements. SF is seen as a prerequisite to NPD Operational Effectiveness (OE). This article analyses the innovation performance and NPD portfolio balance of more than 200 companies in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland, Spain, Norway and Turkey. A factor analysis leads us to suggest that SF actually is only made possible in practice by OE and quality of market information; both of these factors thus jointly lead to sustained innovation. Also, we suggest that flexible strategies are the best choices for current Western business environments such as our sample. Further analyses and some clarifying case studies will be conducted to strengthen or reject either of these propositions.

Keywords: innovation performance; sustained innovation; strategic flexibility; new product development; NPD effectiveness; market knowledge; strategy; culture; operational effectiveness; Australia; Belgium; Denmark; The Netherlands; Finland; Spain; Norway; Turkey.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2010.032929

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2010 Vol.7 No.4, pp.377 - 393

Published online: 05 May 2010 *

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