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Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature

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  • V. Krishnan

    () (The University of Texas at Austin, CBA 4.202, Austin, Texas 78712)

  • Karl T. Ulrich

    () (The Wharton School, 1317 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

Abstract

This paper is a review of research in product development, which we define as the transformation of a market opportunity into a product available for sale. Our review is broad, encompassing work in the academic fields of marketing, operations management, and engineering design. The value of this breadth is in conveying the shape of the entire research landscape. We focus on product development projects within a single firm. We also devote our attention to the development of physical goods, although much of the work we describe applies to products of all kinds. We look inside the "black box" of product development at the fundamental decisions that are made by intention or default. In doing so, we adopt the perspective of product development as a deliberate business process involving hundreds of decisions, many of which can be usefully supported by knowledge and tools. We contrast this approach to prior reviews of the literature, which tend to examine the importance of environmental and contextual variables, such as market growth rate, the competitive environment, or the level of top-management support.

Suggested Citation

  • V. Krishnan & Karl T. Ulrich, 2001. "Product Development Decisions: A Review of the Literature," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 1-21, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:47:y:2001:i:1:p:1-21
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.47.1.1.10668
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