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Economic perspectives on the development of complex products for increasingly demanding customers

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  • Earl, Peter E.
  • Wakeley, Tim

Abstract

Rival firms produce products with a variety of characteristics. It is typically assumed that consumers purchase those products that most closely match their ideal set of characteristics. Orthodox production theory economics offers no analysis of how to divide limited product development budgets between different characteristics. Furthermore, orthodox consumer economics assumes buyers make compensatory trade-offs between different product characteristics; this approach ignores problems caused by bounded rationality that, in complex choice environments, leads buyers to formulate simplifying heuristics such as hierarchical (non-compensatory) preferences over characteristics. An integrative analytical framework is developed, drawing upon orthodox economics, behavioural economics and evolutionary economics. Implications for the relationship between incremental product development and the firm's evolving capabilities are emphasized.

Suggested Citation

  • Earl, Peter E. & Wakeley, Tim, 2010. "Economic perspectives on the development of complex products for increasingly demanding customers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1122-1132, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:39:y:2010:i:8:p:1122-1132
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Costantini, Valeria & Mazzanti, Massimiliano, 2012. "On the green and innovative side of trade competitiveness? The impact of environmental policies and innovation on EU exports," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 132-153.
    2. Zhu, Wenge & He, Yuanjie, 2017. "Green product design in supply chains under competition," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 258(1), pages 165-180.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:6:p:1902-:d:151088 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Loock, Moritz & Hinnen, Gieri, 2015. "Heuristics in organizations: A review and a research agenda," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 2027-2036.

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