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Paper info: EXPLORATORY AND EXPLOITATIVE MARKET LEARNING IN DISCONTINUOUS NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Title


EXPLORATORY AND EXPLOITATIVE MARKET LEARNING IN DISCONTINUOUS NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Authors


Armand Smits, Geert Vissers and Jan de Wit

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.

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Abstract


This research presents the results of an inductive comparative case study of howexploratory and exploitative market learning is balanced during the development of eightdiscontinuous new product development projects in six different business units of differentmultinationals in the chemical industry. For these projects, all recently introduced into themarket, we find market knowledge to be a multi-dimensional construct consisting of segment,product, application, and customer knowledge. We illustrate how a project's exploratory andexploitative market learning is balanced across market knowledge dimensions and over time.More specifically, we find three generic market learning patterns that can be distinguishedbased on their trade-off between exploratory and exploitative market learning. Our data alsoallow us to identify several organizational arrangements, such as the organizational positionof the projects' core marketing function and senior management's decision roles, which seemimportant in shaping different market learning patterns. Overall this research contributes tothe emerging literature on exploratory market learning in new product development.