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Ambiguity Reduction In New Product Development Projects

  • ERIC BRUN

    ()

    (Department of Business Administration, Stavanger University, N-4036 Stavanger, Norway)

  • ALF STEINAR SAETRE

    ()

    (Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway)

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    In this paper, we argue that ambiguity is an essential component of "fuzziness" in the Fuzzy Front End of New Product Development (NPD), and that a better understanding of how ambiguity emerges and is reduced, is called for. We explore the process by which ambiguity was reduced in four NPD projects, and propose a model that enhances our understanding of this process. Ambiguity arises as multiple interpretations, and interpretations can be understood as hypotheses, hence these can be tested by using the hypothetical-deductive method (HDM). We present a model showing that ambiguity in NPD projects is efficiently reduced by applying the HDM to test the multiple interpretations that give rise to ambiguity and the assumptions underlying these interpretations. We discuss theoretical implications and the usefulness of the model for practitioners of NPD.

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    Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal International Journal of Innovation Management.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 04 ()
    Pages: 573-596

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    Handle: RePEc:wsi:ijimxx:v:12:y:2008:i:04:p:573-596
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