Title: Comparative study on FFE activities between Korean and Japanese NPD projects

Authors: Akio Nagahira; Kyong-Hwan Kim; Hee-Ja Yoon; Sumie Ishihara; Yukiya Chiba; Yuta Tanaka; Aya Miura

Addresses: Tohoku University, 6-6-11-803 Aza-Aoba Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan ' Sungkyunkwan University, 300 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, (440-746), Korea ' Funewseful Knowledge Management Institute, #309, 13, Dogok-ro, 3-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea ' Tohoku University, 6-6-11-802 Aza-Aoba Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan ' Tohoku University, 6-6-11-802 Aza-Aoba Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan ' Tohoku University, 6-6-11-802 Aza-Aoba Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan ' Tohoku University, 6-6-11-802 Aza-Aoba Aramaki, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8579, Japan

Abstract: The aim of this study was to focus on the fuzzy front end (FFE) activities of both Korean and Japanese manufacturers' new product development (NPD) projects, and to reveal the characteristics of key FFE factors for NPD success between them. We analysed 293 NPD projects in Korean manufacturing firms and 540 NPD projects in Japanese manufacturing firms using structural equation modelling (SEM). The results suggest Korean manufacturing companies were focusing much more on the reduction of market uncertainty than the reduction of technical uncertainty when they developed new products, in order to perform highly in such areas as sales volume, profit, and market share. On the other hand, since Japanese manufacturing companies paid attention to both the efficiency and effectiveness of NPD project success when they developed new products, they expended much more energy on R&D and labour. A common crucial key to project success was 'intensity of planning' before the start of development.

Keywords: fuzzy front end; FFE; new product development; NPD; structural equation modelling; SEM; SmartPLS; Korea; manufacturing industry; Japan; market uncertainty; technical uncertainty; planning intensity; uncertainty reduction; sales volume; profit; market share; R&D; research and development; labour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2015.066094

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2015 Vol.10 No.1, pp.67 - 94

Received: 20 Sep 2013
Accepted: 25 Apr 2014

Published online: 19 Nov 2014 *

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