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Software innovativeness: outcomes on project performance, knowledge enhancement, and external linkages

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The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between product innovativeness and groups of outcomes flowing from the computer software product development process and the associated knowledge acquisition process. Data from interviews of managers in 94 software projects are analysed, and three groups of outcomes are measured: project performance, knowledge enhancement, and the strengthening of linkages to external actors/sources. The high innovative products show higher project performance for all measures of project performance compared with low innovative products. Similar results were found for all measures of personnel knowledge enhancement outcomes. Changes in the importance of linkages to nine different external sources of knowledge used by the firms during the knowledge acquisition process, also show some positive outcomes with respect to rising innovativeness levels. Strengthening of external linkages is found for 66% of the investigated linkages between one or two innovativeness levels. Of these, the linkages to hardware manufacturers, co-operation partners, and universities and other research institutions show strengthening when high innovativeness products are compared with low-level products. As the project performance and knowledge enhancement outcomes are due, in part, to knowledge gained within linkages to external actors/sources, managers could consider whether giving special attention to managing these linkages would be a winning innovation strategy for their particular firm.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Business, Mälardalen University, PO Box 325, SE-631 05 Eskilstuna, Sweden , Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2006-03-01

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