Title: A starting point for addressing product innovativeness in the Fuzzy Front-End

Authors: Maicon G. Oliveira; Robert Phaal; David Probert; Vitor P. Cunha; Henrique Rozenfeld

Addresses: Integrated Engineering Group, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Av. Trabalhador São Carlense, 400, São Carlos-SP, 13566-590, Brazil. ' Centre for Technology Management, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK. ' Centre for Technology Management, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, 17 Charles Babbage Road, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK. ' Integrated Engineering Group, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Av. Trabalhador São Carlense, 400, São Carlos-SP, 13566-590, Brazil. ' Integrated Engineering Group, São Carlos School of Engineering, University of São Paulo, Av. Trabalhador São Carlense, 400, São Carlos-SP, 13566-590, Brazil

Abstract: Product innovativeness is a primary contingent factor to be addressed for the development of flexible management for the front-end. However, due to complexity of this early phase of the innovation process, the definition of which attributes to customise is critical to support a contingent approach. Therefore, this study investigates front-end attributes that need to be customised to permit effective management for different degrees of innovation. To accomplish this aim, a literature review and five case studies were performed. The findings highlighted the front-end strategic and operational levels as factors influencing the front-end attributes related to product innovativeness. In conclusion, this study suggests that two front-end attributes should be customised: development activities and decision-making approach.

Keywords: product innovation; fuzzy front end; attributes; contingency; product innovativeness; flexible management; decision making; uncertainty; case study.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2011.045092

International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2011 Vol.7 No.4, pp.309 - 326

Available online: 22 Jan 2012 *

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