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The design paradox: the contribution of in-house and external design activities on product market performance

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  • Czarnitzki, Dirk
  • Thorwarth, Susanne

Abstract

This paper explores the contribution of design activities on product market performance of Belgian companies. While there is mounting evidence that design can be seen as a strategic tool to successfully spur sales of new product developments at the firm level, the topic of design innovation has not been linked to the open innovation concept yet. In this paper we empirically test whether design activities conducted in-house differ in their contribution to new product sales from externally acquired design. Using a large crosssection of manufacturing and service firms, we investigate the effects on sales of products new to the market and of imitation or significantly improved products of the firm. At first glance, we find the paradox that externally acquired design is not superior to in-house design activities. This effect is robust to several modifications of the model specification. As earlier literature on new technological developments in high-tech sectors, we argue, however, that external design may not affect the sales of market novelties as the "market news" may spill-over quickly to rivals through common customers and suppliers including external designers.

Suggested Citation

  • Czarnitzki, Dirk & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2009. "The design paradox: the contribution of in-house and external design activities on product market performance," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-068, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09068
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    Cited by:

    1. Stephen Roper & James Love & Priit Vahter, 2012. "The value of design strategies for new product development: Some econometric evidence," The Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Research Paper Series 114, Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick.
    2. Jovanović, Miroslav N., 2019. "The Supply Chain Economy: How Far does it Spread in Space and Time?," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 72(4), pages 393-452.
    3. Graña, Fernando M. & del Mar Benavides-Espinosa, Maria & Roig-Dobón, Salvador, 2018. "Determinants of silent and explicit industrial design," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 314-320.
    4. Livio Cricelli & Marco Greco & Michele Grimaldi, 2016. "Assessing The Open Innovation Trends By Means Of The Eurostat Community Innovation Survey," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 20(03), pages 1-30, April.
    5. Filippetti, Andrea, 2010. "Harnessing the 'essential tension' of design: The complex relationship between the firm and designer consultants," MPRA Paper 22002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Bettina Peters & Rebecca Riley & Iulia Siedschlag & Priit Vahter & John McQuinn, 2018. "Internationalisation, innovation and productivity in services: evidence from Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 154(3), pages 585-615, August.
    7. Crass, Dirk & Schwiebacher, Franz, 2013. "Do trademarks diminish the substitutability of products in innovative knowledge-intensive services?," ZEW Discussion Papers 13-061, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    8. Roper, Stephen & Micheli, Pietro & Love, James H. & Vahter, Priit, 2016. "The roles and effectiveness of design in new product development: A study of Irish manufacturers," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 319-329.
    9. Mario Coccia & Greta Falavigna & Alessandro Manello, 2015. "The impact of hybrid public and market-oriented financing mechanisms on the scientific portfolio and performances of public research labs: a scientometric analysis," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(1), pages 151-168, January.
    10. Adrián Kovács & Bart Looy & Bruno Cassiman, 2015. "Exploring the scope of open innovation: a bibliometric review of a decade of research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 104(3), pages 951-983, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Design; R&D; Collaboration; Open Innovation; Product Market Performance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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