A Four-Dimensional Product Innovativeness Typology: Introducing Seven New Product Project Types for the Study of Innovation Management

Axel Rosenø

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    Product innovativeness is a key moderating variable for the study of innovationmanagement (Song & Montoya-Weiss 1998, p. 124). For this reason, some empiricalstudies of innovation management examine new product processes, critical successfactors, and market learning practices for incremental versus discontinuous newproduct projects (Song & Montoya-Weiss 1998; Atuahene-Gima 1995; Veryzer 1998a;Lynn et al. 1996; O'Connor 1998; Rice et al. 1998). By looking at both these types ofnew product development projects, empirical observations are likely to be morerealistic than those of studies that do not discriminate between more or lessinnovative projects.Even so, a dualistic view of the matter does not capture the nuances (Green et al.1995)1 of the relationship between product innovativeness and innovationmanagement practices. Hence, there is a need for richer innovativeness typologiesthat go beyond the dichotomous view and, thereby, lend themselves to a more finegrainedstudy of innovation management practices for different types of newproduct projects.In fact, various innovativeness typologies exist that include more than two producttypes. Notably, the typology by Booz, Allen & Hamilton (1982)2 introduces twodimensions: newness to the market and newness to the company, resulting in six productstypes (with various combinations of high, medium and low newness). An alternativeset of typologies differentiates between the product's technological newness and itsmarket newness, for example Abernathy & Clark's (1985) typology with four newproduct types; Leonard-Barton's (1995) five product types; and Veryzer's (1998a)four types in a two-by-two matrix.Interestingly, these two meta-perspectives on product innovativeness (i.e. 1. new tothe market and/or new to the company and 2. technological and/or marketnewness) are generally not included within the same typology in extant literature.For example, discussions of the technological and/or market newness of a product,often leave out the question of whether that newness is in the eyes of the industryand market (exogenous newness) or only for the focal firm itself (endogenousnewness). More broadly, it can be stated that `... little continuity exists in the newproduct literature regarding from whose perspective this degree of newness is viewedand what is new' (Garcia & Calantone 2002, p. 112).
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    Number of pages87
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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