Information Use And New Product Outcomes: The Contingent Role Of Strategy Type

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Journal Of Product Innovation Management


Business and Leadership


Information is an important resource for firms to develop new products successfully, and firms must rely on their ability to use information effectively. This research builds on information processing and contingency theories to explore the effect of firm strategy type and the conceptual and instrumental use of information on new product outcomes. Firms operating in high-tech industries are faced with high levels of uncertainty caused by rapidly evolving technologies. Consequently, creating innovative and successful products becomes particularly challenging. Past research examining organizational use of information points to the presence of strategic contingencies that may impact the new product outcomes that accrue to a firm. A cross-sectional study was conducted to examine how the impact of information use on new product outcomes varies by strategy type. Using data from 150 software development firms based in a developing economy, the theoretical hypotheses proposed are tested. After controlling for environmental turbulence, the research results demonstrate that firms focusing on specific types of information use innovate successfully only when that information use is congruent with an appropriate strategic orientation. Specifically, the present study finds that prospector firms focusing on conceptual information use enhance both their new product performance and new product creativity outcomes, whereas analyzer firms enhance only their new product performance outcomes. A focus on instrumental information use has different effects for firms. Defender firms enhance both their new product performance and creativity outcomes only when focusing on instrumental information use. In contrast, prospector firms detract from their new product creativity outcomes, and analyzer firms reduce their new product performance outcomes when focusing on instrumental information use.