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An Investigation into the New Product Process: Steps, Deficiencies, and Impact

Robert G. Cooper and Elko J. Kleinschmidt


In a comprehensive study of 252 new product histories at 123 firms, Robert Cooper and Elko Kleinschmidt looked critically at the new products management process. Each company was shown a set of 13 activities which formed a general “skeleton” of a new product process. This article looks at how this structure was modified by the companies and how well various stages of the process were reportedly executed. The results show a variety of practices among the surveyed companies. While the presence of activities cannot guarantee successful new products, certain activities were singled out as particularly weak. Firms should consider placing more emphasis on market studies, initial screening activities, and preliminary market assessment. This articles provides a thoughtful assessment of the level of implementation of current practices in new product management.