Full citation

Balbontin, A., Yazdani, B., Cooper, R., & Souder, W.E. (1999). New Product Development Success Factors in American and British Firms. International Journal of Technology Management, 17(3), 259-280.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research — Non-experimental

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: The paper found various NPD success factors held in common between the U.S. and the U.K. such as having a strategic market focus, while others differed with being first to market more important in the U.S. Although the success rate was about the same, the U.S. launched twice as many products annually as the U.K.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Large business, Small business (less than 500 employees)

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Manufacturers

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary Findings


  • Most of the factors related to commercial success were found controllable within the company, and decisions can be made related to NPD strategies and practices in order to succeed. For example, NPD project managers can be trained in marketing, technical and management skills; and they can be given enough authority and support by top management.
    Survey of 87 manufactures in the U.S. and U.K.
  • Critical Success Factors in Organization — Having participative leadership style; high level of information flow and contact between marketing and technical teams; ensure employees have sufficient time to perform creative development activities; ensure top management support for the innovation process.
    Survey of 87 manufacturers.


  • Customer expectations about products have increased so high quality and cost effectiveness are necessary but not sufficient. Today these factors need to be supported by after-sales service for successful results.
    Survey of 87 manufacturers.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 8.3
  • Critical Success Factor in Design — Having prototypes tested by users and involving them in product definition.
    Survey of 87 manufacturers.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 4, Stage 5
  • Anticipating and meeting customer demands requires more teamwork and participation of project personnel in decision-making. This requires an overall understanding of NPD business by team members and their leaders.
    Survey of 87 manufacturers.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Gate 3, Gate 4, Gate 5, Gate 6, Gate 7, Gate 8

Secondary Findings

Method: The design phase can determine 75% of the manufacturing costs, 70% of the life cycle costs of a product, and 80% of its quality performance. (Dowlatshahi [1992])
Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 5