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Title: Design-oriented new product development strategy in Chinese small and medium enterprises
Authors: Lou, Ke
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © Ke Lou
Abstract: China is in economic transition, from the resource consuming made in China to an aspirational designed in China . Chinese Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), have made significant contributions to society and the national economy, their influence determines the success of this economic transition. On the other hand, design-oriented New Product Development (NPD) strategies are generally recognised as beneficial for company survival, but are mostly applied in large companies. Evidence of testing design-oriented NPD strategy in Chinese SMEs is sparse. This research therefore, attempts to introduce design-oriented NPD strategy to Chinese SMEs, and investigates how design-oriented NPD strategy performs in Chinese SMEs. This research adopts a qualitative approach with three stages: the first utilises a scoping study to understand the feasibility of this research, and synthesise knowledge from the literature to construct a customised NPD process model with design-oriented aspects; the second stage focuses on using an experimental method to conduct a parallel implementation: two NPD projects follow different NPD approaches, the conventional NPD process of SMEs and the introduced design-oriented NPD process; the third stage carried out mainly by observation, set out to investigate the changes brought about by the NPD process. Empirical data from three NPD projects is collected and analysed. Evidence from the parallel NPD projects demonstrates that the introduced design-oriented NPD strategy gains internal confidence but is costly when compare with the conventional approach (funds and time). Although the new product from the design-oriented team of the experiment performed less well from a sales perspective, a continuous observation on their follow-up NPD project, the investigation of the changes, discloses that the NPD behaviour of the investigated company is changed, all participants reach consensus regarding the merits of the design-oriented NPD. It concludes that the design-oriented NPD strategy in Chinese SMEs are implementable and beneficial. This research is a single case study, and a qualitative investigation of implementation of the design-oriented NPD strategy in one selected Chinese SME. It requires a wider adoption of the design-oriented NPD strategy in companies across different industries, and to investigate a larger sample of NPD projects, to gather quantitative confirmation.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: none
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/22978
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Design School)

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