Research-based pedagogy for new product development: MBA's versus engineers in different countries

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Title: Research-based pedagogy for new product development: MBA's versus engineers in different countries
Author: Ettlie, John
Abstract: An experimential exercise based on the meta-analysis results reported by Montoya-Weiss and Calantone [22] was used in eleven graduate classes, all electives in technology management, at five different institutions in the U.S., Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, during the period 1999-2001. The purpose of this article is to describe the details of this exercise used to promote awareness of the process leading to relative sucesss of new product commercialization and the results of testing hypotheses on the differences between classes and different countries (i.e., in Europe and the U.S.), and professional disciplines. During the sixth meeting of the course, new product development is introduced to the class using a discussion of the value of academic research in this field. First the results of the meta-analysis are reviewed and then converted to a method that can be used to screen new product introduction cases for potential success. The entire exercise is devoted to the prime factors that drive commercial success of new products. This is done as part of a larger unit on new product development in the context of technological innovation. Second, students are collectively asked to evaluate the potential success. The entire exercise is devoted to the prime factors that drive commercial success of new products. This is done as part of a larger unit on new product development in the context of technological innovation. Second, students are collectively asked to evaluate the potential of the introduction of a new ultrasound product described in a business publication article, which seerves as the teaching case in this instance. The exercise culminates with the class "voting" on the probability of success of this new ultrasound product introducing in the short case. Predicted differences in the form of more optimistic probability estimates turning out to be supported for class composition (e.g. discipline) but not for country (U.S. vs. rest-of-world). Although all classes correctly predicted the eventual success of this new product (>60% success rate), graduate engineers were significantly more pessimistic than heterogeneous groups of MBA students in their average probabil8ity estimates for new product success (grand mean of 62% vs. 75% respectability). Implications of these results are discussed. Future research might investigate the sources of these differences and the subtle differences within, as well as between, these groups. For example, in MBA classes, the differences between marketing and operations majors might be important and for technical professionals, the differences between electrical engineers and mechanical engineers would make a good comparison. Further, a broader range of geographical regions could be evaluated such as Asia and South America. The results of intervention to promote optimal diversity in new product and venture teams might also be a valuable research stream.
Description: RIT community members may access full-text via RIT Libraries licensed databases: http://library.rit.edu/databases/
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/7673
Publishers URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0737-6782(01)00120-5
Date: 2002-01

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