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Management of product development projects in the wood industry

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This study used data on project management from 70 recent product development projects in the wood industry. The objective was to test the influence of some project management factors, known from cross-industry research to be keys to product development project success, on product development project success in the context of the wood industry. Through the use of hierarchical multiple regression analysis, it was found that both the sharpness of the product concept definition and the strength of the project leader had significant positive influences on the success of product development projects. Conversely, product advantage, team cross-functionality and customer involvement did not have a significant positive influence on the success of these projects. The latter even indicated a negative influence on product development project success. Project uncertainty, as manifested in the degree of newness of the technology and the marketing strategies of the product to the innovating strategic business unit, did not influence the relationship between project management factors and product development project success. Some of the findings were unexpected and may be explained by the industry's unaccustomedness to customer co-operation and the fact that product development in the wood industry takes place within conventional technology and market bounds.
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Keywords: Innovation; interaction model; multiple regression analysis; sawmilling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: SLU, Department of Forest Products, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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