Product Development: Past Research, Present Findings, and Future Directions

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Authors: S. L. Brown, K. M. Eisenhardt

Publication Year: 1995


Journal: Academy of Management Review

Volume: 20

Issue: 2

Categories: Innovation, Technical Innovation


The literature on product development continues to grow. This re- search is varied and vibrant, yet large and fragmented. In this article we first organize the burgeoning product-development literature into three streams of research: product development as rational plan, com- munication web, and disciplined problem solving. Second, we syn- thesize research findings into a model of factors affecting the success of product development. This model highlights the distinction be- tween process performance and product effectiveness and the impor- tance of agents, including team members, project leaders, senior management, customers, and suppliers, whose behavior affects these outcomes. Third, we indicate potential paths for future research based on the concepts and links that are missing or not well defined in the model.