Antecedents and Consequences of Reflexivity in New Product Idea Screening
until further notice
SourceJournal of Product Innovation Management, 28, 5, (2011), pp. 662-679
11 april 2011
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Product Innovation Management
Pre-development activities, such as new product idea screening, are considered to play an important role in innovation success. At the screening stage, a management team evaluates new product and service ideas and makes a first go/no-go decision under high levels of uncertainty and ambiguity. Paying more attention to the decision-making process in the screening stage appears important because too rigorous a use of rigid evaluation criteria and inflexible methods have been shown to have an adverse effect on market performance of novel products. The present study proposes and tests a model of team-level antecedents and consequences of reflexivity—the explicit evaluation and discussion of working methods, tools, and criteria within a team. Recently, researchers have proposed that cognitive style and leadership style are major antecedents of decision-making performance. This study posits that reflexivity offers an explanation of how transformational leadership and cognitive style can eventually affect decision-making performance in the context of new product idea screening. Results of a survey among 126 top managers from large international firms show that the positive effects of transformational leadership and procedural rationality on the effectiveness and efficiency of screening decision making are largely mediated by reflexivity at the team level. This suggests that screening teams can improve their decision making in the following ways: committee chairs are advised to stimulate openness, develop a stop-and-think attitude among screening committee members, and support argument-based discussion in order to adapt available decision tools, models, and checklists whenever needed. The paper concludes with implications, limitations of the study, and suggestions for further research.
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