African Journal of Business Management Vol. 4(11), pp. 2247-2257, 4 September, 2010
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are considered as an engine for economic growth all over the world and especially for developing countries. During the past decade, new product development (NPD) has increasingly been recognized as a critical factor in ensuring the continued survival of SMEs. On the other hand, the rapid rate of market and technological changes has accelerated in the past decade, so this turbulent environment requires new methods and techniques to bring successful new products to the marketplace. Virtual team can be a solution to answer the requested demand. However, literature have shown no significant differences between traditional NPD and virtual NPD in general, whereas NPD in SME’s virtual team has not been systematically investigated in developing countries. This paper aims to bridge this gap by first reviewing the NPD and its relationship with virtuality and then identifies the critical factors of NPD in virtual teams. The statistical method was utilized to perform the required analysis of data from the survey. The results were achieved through factor analysis at the perspective of NPD in some Malaysian and Iranian manufacturing firms (N = 191). The 20 new product development factors were grouped into five higher level constructs. It gives valuable insight and guidelines, which hopefully will help managers of firms in developing countries to consider the main factors in NPD.
African Journal of Business Management Vol. 4(11), pp. 2368-2379, 4 September, 2010
This paper explores potential advantages of using virtual teams for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with a comprehensive review on various aspects of virtual teams. Based on the standing of the pertinent literature, attempt has been made to study the aspects by online survey method in Iran and Malaysia. In both countries, SMEs play an important role in their economies, employments, and capacity building. Virtual R&D team can be one of the means to increase SMEs efficiency and competitiveness in their local as well as global markets. In this context, surveys have been conducted to evaluate the effects of virtuality to the growth of SMEs. The study addresses some differences between two countries in engaging virtual research and development (R&D) teams in their SMEs. It is observed that there is a significant difference between the SMEs turnover that employed virtual team and that did not employ the virtual team. The way for further studies and recommend improvements are proposed.