How Leading Firms Manage Product Safety in NPD?

Andy Yunlong Zhu*, Dimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Max von Zedtwitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Empirical research has produced little evidence on the implications between NPD practices and product safety. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the leading firms manage product safety in product development in juvenile products industry. To this end, we conducted 30 semi-structured in-depth interviews in 24 leading global firms in the juvenile products industry. This paper reports the results of this exploratory investigation. Thirty-four critical to safety NPD practices are identified. Our results show that the leading firms have a strong commitment to product safety from the top management. They foster a product safety first culture in the firm and devote necessary resources to manage product safety proactively. A strong quality team in charge of product safety is prevalent in these firms. Most importantly, the firms have a formal, well-executed NPD process with cross-functional team in charge of product development from concept to launch. Integrating NPD process with hazard analysis and product safety review by quality/safety engineers is critical to safety and was found pervasive in these firms. Our interviews also uncovered a number of major issues on product safety management in NPD that most firms are facing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge Perspectives of New Product Development : A Comparative Approach
EditorsDimitris G. Assimakopoulos, Elias G. Carayannis, Rafiq Dossani
Number of pages20
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9781461402473, 9781461429470
ISBN (Electronic)9781461402480
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
SeriesInnovation, Technology and Knowledge Management

Cite this