The role of resource access, market considerations, and the nature of innovation in pursuit of standards in the new product development process

Standards influence new product development (NPD) in high-technology markets. However, existing work on standards has focused exclusively on one aspect of standards - compatibility standards. This article has the following goals. First, we delineate the concept of customer interface standards as distinct from compatibility standards. This distinction is important from a product development and technology adoption perspective. Second, we propose and show that antecedent factors may motivate a firm differently about the emphasis that the firm should put on a type of standard (compatibility or customer interface) that it follows. For example, we propose that appropriability regime affects pursuit of customer interface standards and compatibility standards differently. Finally, we illustrate how resource access and the nature of the innovation also influence a firm's decision to pursue a standard type. Finally, we propose that pursuit of different standards (customer interface or compatibility) affects the NPD process in terms of:
1. sourcing and dissemination of technology, and
2. the customer utility for the product, which influences adoption.
We collected perceptual data from a sample of marketing and technology managers in high-tech industries in the UK using both formative and reflective scales to measure the constructs. Analysis of the data using LISREL supports our contention that compatibility standards and customer interface standards are distinct constructs and that appropriability regime influences compatibility standards and customer interface standards differently. We also find that pursuit of compatibility standards helps a firm to create direct externalities pursuit of customer interface standards, helps firms to develop indirect network externalities and technological advantage in the market.
Our findings have the following implications. First, managers need to account explicitly for the difference between compatibility and customer interface standards, as resource allocation decisions during the NPD process will determine where a firm puts more focus. The choices made by the firm¿as to whether it pursues compatibility standards or customer interface standards will determine the type of advantage that it can gain in the market. Given a firm's situation at a point in time, a greater focus on one standard type rather than the other may be the right approach. Such choices will influence resource allocation in the product development process.


URL (Wiley Online Library)


Innovation, New product development, Resource management, Standards

Additional information:

AuthorsSahay, Arvind (London Business School, UK), Riley, Debra¿
Publisher:Blackwell Publishers Ltd
Keywords:Innovation, New product development, Resource management, Standards