Full citation

Kim, S, Park, Y. & Seol, H. (2007). On the Design of Process-Oriented Knowledge Management System for Fourth Generation R&D. Knowledge & Process Management, 14(4), 287-302.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Experience

Experience level of reader: Advanced

Annotation: The article recounts four consecutive models of the R&D process, and present a Knowledge Management System to support the fourth generation R&D, called the Market Creation Model, where users and producers interactively create new products, involve users in the initial product planning where they share their values and product requirements.

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

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

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

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

Primary Findings

Primary Models:

  • Studies on the process of technological innovation have generated three successive models: 1) Linear Models flow uni-directionally from R&D to marketing via production — assuming the market is evident and needs are clear; 2) Chain-Link Model adds detailed information on customer needs and feedback loops — assuming that technology needs can be found via careful marketing analysis; 3) Abduction Model explores customer needs through market experimentation where sample products are interjected into the real marketplace; 4) Creation Model where users and producers interact from the earliest stages, and user values are mapped to create new products for new markets.
    Author analysis of prior literature and application within an industrial setting.
  • Various types of R&D processes have been defined according to industry or product characteristics, but almost all of them feature Stage-Gate systems. It is our contention that even fourth generation R&D Models should progress according to predefined procedures to accomplish productivity and consistency of innovation.
    Author analysis of prior literature and application within an industrial setting.

Primary Methods:

  • Although Knowledge Management is indispensable in R&D, there are few studies on knowledge management systems supporting the R&D process. Though a number of commercial systems try to facilitate knowledge management, they seldom support the Knowledge Creation cycle in the R&D process. Firms play an active role in knowledge creation and are defined as depositories of knowledge and as learning sites.
    Author analysis of prior literature and application within an industrial setting.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Stage 3
  • The range of participants in R&D is broad and requires someone to oversee the integration of all the elements that constitute the innovation process. All of the external actors that create value or knowledge may join in R&D, including customers, suppliers and distributors, with all due consideration of the span of control and confidentiality issues.
    Author analysis of prior literature and application within an industrial setting.
    Occurrence of finding within the model: Step 4.1, Step 3.5, Step 2.1, Step 1.1

Secondary Findings

Secondary Models:

  • A generic Product Development process was presented in 1995, consisting of five stages: 1) Concept Development; 2) System-level Design; 3) Detail Design; 4) Testing & Refinement; 5) Production Ramp-up. (Ulrich & Eppinger [1995])
  • Another New Product Development (NPD) process articulated in 1996 comprised five stages: 1) Concept Evaluation; 2) Planning & Specification; 3) Development; 4) Test and Evaluation; 5) Product Release. (McGrath, M. [1996])
  • The New Product Development (NPD) process described in 2001 consisted of six stages: 1) Discovery; 2) Scoping; 3) Building Business Case; 4) Development; 5) Testing & Validation; 6) Launching. (Cooper, R. [2001])
  • A 2004 R&D Model divided the process into six Development Stages and six corresponding Evaluation Gates: 1) Idea Generation & Idea Screening; 2) Concept Development & Concept Testing; 3) Building Business Case & Business Analysis; 4) Product Development & Product Testing; 5) Market Testing & Analyzing Test Market Results; 6) Market Launch & Post-Launch Evaluation. (Tzokas, Hultink & Hart [2004])