This example shows how product development is very much influenced by people, their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and indeed their culture. It is important to recognise this when managing people in product development.
A new product department is sometimes used to integrate and coordinate the company's capabilities and bear the responsibility for product innovation (Urban et al., 1987). This can work well where there is already good integration between functional departments, but can be left out on a limb if there is competition among functional departments. It certainly focuses the company's product development and also can combine the product, processing and consumer research in the early stages, but it is never large enough to do the marketing and production development in the commercialisation and launching.
All these formal systems can be suitable for incremental product changes, the choice being dependent on the character of the company and its staff, but they are usually not a successful structure for radical innovations.
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