As organisations becomeincreasingly global and cross-functional, advancements in technology, silos arebreaking down, connectivity is increasing and organisations face more complexchanges (Cross, Rebele and Grant, 2016).
At an increasing speed presents the need forcompanies to respond to strategic challenges by increasing their productportfolios and by addressing new market segments, new product introduction managementin the technology industry has become more challenging. Research has attributedsome difficulties in doing so largely to problems in the new product launchprocess, and has pinpointed the essential role of not only adopting to changesand managing your consumer expectations but also teamwork and managing internalprocesses as efficiently as possible is seen as a key to organisational success(Wind and Mahajan, 1981). An ethos of speed of new product launchthrough change management needed for the success of new product introduction. This study will employlongitudinal research in a case company to identify if and how they reconcilethis conundrum, to advance understanding concerning the critical link between newproducts launch and change management. Background Most reliable predictors ofsuccess for new introductions relate to product, strategy, process andmarketplace characteristics (Wilson et al., 2016).
Product launch process, also known ascommercialization process, sits within process characteristics and begins whena business identifies a way to use engineering advancement to meet a marketneed and is a the last stage of the new product development. The processcontinues through design, development, and marketing, includes efforts toimprove the product, and can be separated into three main parts the product,the consumer and the organisation developing the new product. All the varioussteps owned by different functions with simultaneously overlapping phases (Nevens, Summe and Uttal, 1990; Gourville, 2005). The growing number of new product launches hastriggered challenges and inefficiencies on organisational and process levelsacross the global technology industry. With new products constantly emerging,companies have become more agile to keep up with rapidly changing marketconditions and with all their efforts to get all product components right, yetmost product launches still fail.
The same can be said for change management (Schneider and Hall, 2011). One of the main problems is that organisationslike a routine and it still has to be learned. It takes time and money to trynew things; it disrupts and distracts the day-to-day working of theorganisation and can upset current processes and arrangements and requireefforts in acquiring and using new skills.
Not surprising that the strategythey adapt is to try and short-cut the processes by borrowing ideas from otherorganisation (Tidd and Bessant, 2013). Another reason depends on how products are differentiatedand how the consumer perceives it. In addition, most consumers are unwilling tochange from one product to another which detects conflict and also means thatthe organisation has overestimated the market size, demand, have not positionedcorrectly (Gourville, 2005).
At the outset, anything ispossible, but in many cases, the new product development process blurs into theprocess of new product launch. For example, customer co-development, testmarketing and use of alpha, beta and gamma test sites yield data on customerrequirements and so on. Typically, product launch process involves a sequenceof awareness, interest, trial, evaluation and adaption.
Simply making the consumeraware of the new product, will not be sufficient, they need to be drawn intothe process through the other stages (Tidd and Bessant, 2013). As debated by Kotter & Schlesinger (2008), when choosing strategy for change, organisationsleaders must continually deal with increased competition, changing workforce,technological advancements, growth and new regulations. Therefore, organisations need to embracechange and think about how to support fast growth and implement an agile launchprocess that can overcome obstacles related to new product launch. The success dependson not only adopting to their market needs but successful change management ofinternal processes is also a very important factor in managing customersatisfaction and creating better experience (Cooper, 1999). Critical to note it does not guarantee that itwill be successful.
Hence, the quest to investigate the effectiveness ofproduct launch process have been limited and apart from the lack of researchthere still exist inconclusive findings concerning which approach to productlaunch process in the technology industry will be the most successful. These concerns lead to acomprehensive investigation of the factors, and the techniques that canoptimize the implementation of a product launch initiatives through changemanagement in the case company. Sample Literature Review The research literature identifiesseveral launch challenges, for example, timing, decisions, demand, cross-functionalsilos and sales management. In case of innovative technology applications thatare developed and launched is the process of introducing a new product into themarket for initial sale (Tzokas, Hultink and Hart, 2004;Cooper, 2014).
And its main purpose is to maximise companiesprofitability by introducing their product into the target market and depend onthe specific buying behaviour to be influenced (Guiltinan, 1999). Accordingly, a great deal of launch literatureexamines the elements of launch that contribute to new product success (Guiltinan, 1999; Bruce, Daly andKahn, 2007; Tidd and Bessant, 2013; Johnson and Sohi, 2017). However, launch process calls for the otherside of the coin, as it’s been largely ignored. In addition, launch is said tobe often poorly managed (Schoenherr and Swink, 2015), and the launch process to be unstructured (Roger J. Calantone and C.
Anthony Di Benedetto, 2007; Wilson et al.,2016). Therefore, it is suggested here that in order todevelop a more organized approach on launch it would be important to grasp thechallenges of it. Because the marketing function is a focal function duringlaunch (Schneider and Hall, 2011; Tiddand Bessant, 2013), particularly in the context of marketing it isconsidered suitable for examining these challenges. That means that for exampleproduction ramp-up issues are not of interest here as such, but perhaps theireffects on the timing of the new product launch process.New product launchactivities formulated on the bases of the organisations strategy, considering existingproduct iteration or extensions, and introduced to seek growth, to meet marketdemand and to take advantages of consumer desires. In addition, it reducesmarketing efforts, reduces risk and enhances the parent brand.
However, if theproduct loses its purpose, or released to soon or causes confusion amongstcustomers and requires recognising the issues, stepping in and correcting anyinaccuracy, which often can be very costly and purely managed. New productlaunch particularly is already very costly process and the organisation need toprovide for not only marketing activities, but also invest in internal andexternal training, gear up productions and align all operations (Kotler et al., 2008). The main goal of this researchis to combine the product launch, change management elements, and provide aproduct launch framework for a common use in different product launches insidethe case company. Identify the most criticalproduct launch stages from change management perspective Research Methods & Methodology The sample literature conducted, has provided limited insightinto the product launch process from change management perspective.
Research objective and questionsThe capabilities and conditions of successful productlaunch have been viewed from various perspectives by researchers and scholars. Thisresearch will be analysing the product launch process of the case company inthe context of change management. Therefore, this research has two complementarygoals, first to gain a common understanding of change management and launch processimprovement and the possibility coloration between both terms. Secondly, itaims to provide references for improving management practice concerning productlaunch process in the selected case company.
This research will investigate andanalyse the change management process transfer and implementation withinproduct launch process. Common and different process frameworks will beidentified in the case company and how these frameworks influence the newproduct introduction. These issues will be critically analysed to compare theobserved practice in the case company with theoretical developments and with resultsof earlier studies. On that bases, the following research questions willhave to be answered:Whether launch process management can be achieved throughchange management?How case companies launch process change can beimplemented to achieve cross-functional efficiency or is there a need to Research scope, limitations and validly of theresearchBoth product launchprocess and change management subjects are widely applied and examining everypoint would exceed the dimensions of this research. Therefor this research willonly provide for an overview of product launch process in the technologyindustry and change management theory to create a baseline understanding requiredbefore the actual research conducted.
Since this is a case study the validityand scope of the research is limited to the case company and particular productlaunch process discussed