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This work investigates the impact of nine new product development (NPD) acceleration approaches (supplier involvement, lead user involvement, speeding up activities and tasks, reduction of parts and components, training and rewarding of employees, implementation of support systems and techniques, stimulating interfunctional cooperation, emphasis on the customer, and simplification of organizational structure) on development speed and new product profitability. Our findings from 233 manufacturing firms show that lead user involvement and training/rewarding of employees increase both development speed and profitability. Supplier involvement, speeding up activities and tasks, and a simplification of the organizational structure also enhance development speed, while an emphasis on the customer has an additional positive impact on new product profitability. Both new product speed and profitability increase firm financial performance. Our results further show that pioneers and fast followers should not select the same NPD acceleration approaches as the speed and profitability impact of the majority of the acceleration approaches depends on the new product strategy of the firm. These results are important as they provide guidance for pioneers and fast followers regarding which NPD acceleration approaches to select in order to enhance speed and profitability and, hence, firm financial performance.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2005