Toward the Development of New Product Ideas: Asymmetric Effects of Team Cohesion on New Product Ideation

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Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate asymmetric effects of team cohesion and team members’ relational qualification on the creativity of new product ideas.

Design/methodology/approach: Structural equation modeling was conducted on survey data collected from 195 new product development practitioners in various US high-technology industries.

Findings: The study suggests that creative and potentially successful product ideas include three dimensions – usefulness for customers, and novelty for customers and usefulness for the firms (i.e. enhancement efficiency and effectiveness of companies’ new product development process). By focusing on a relational aspect of new product development teams, the study shows that team task cohesion mediates the relationship between the antecedents (team members’ organizational commitment and social competency) and the three outcome dimensions of a successful product idea (novelty, usefulness to customers and usefulness to the firm). The team members’ interpersonal relationship has no positive association with task cohesion and the desirable qualifications of product ideas.

Research limitations/implications: An ideation team’s socially competent members who identify with their organization are likely to be attracted to a given task. This task cohesion, in turn, enhances the creativeness of the development of product ideas.

Practical implications: To generate fruitful product ideas using a team approach, companies should make sure that their new product ideation teams achieve a sense of mutual commitment to the given ideation tasks, develop a feeling of belongingness and ownership toward the firms and include members who have good social and interpersonal skills. However, the possession of strong social cohesion is not essential for the teams.

Originality/value: This study provides novel insights concerning the relational aspect of product development teams assigned to the initiation phase (front end) of a new product development process.

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