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Social Competency and New Product Development Performance

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3 Author(s)
Jifeng Mu ; Sch. of Bus., Alabama A&M Univ., Normal, AL, USA ; Gengmiao Zhang ; MacLachlan, D.L.

Previous studies have fruitfully investigated the success factors of new product development. Most of these studies explored the phenomenon from the firm/team level. Little has been done from the perspective of how individuals within new product teams contribute to new product development (NPD) and its performance. Yet, any organizational output should be imputable to specific individuals, and understanding the various individuals' respective contributions is paramount to explaining the collective outcome. In this study, we explore the role of social competency of individual members of teams in the NPD process. Our results show that individuals within NPD teams having social competency are social architects who understand and can successfully manage the interaction between organizational and behavioral variables. We find that social competency is a reliable predictor of new product performance. Also, we find that learning is both a mediating and moderating variable, while technological competency and market knowledge are moderators of social competency in its relationship to NPD performance. The implication is that firms should take individual characteristic variables such as social competency into consideration when they develop and commercialize product innovations.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 2 )