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Friday, 2 March 2012

Critical factors for new product developments in SMEs virtual team. Afr. J.  Bus. Manage.

African Journal of Business Management Vol. 4(11), pp. 2247-2257, 4 September, 2010

ISSN 1993-8233 ©2010 Academic Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Critical factors for new product developments in SMEs virtual team

Nader Ale Ebrahim*, Shamsuddin Ahmed and Zahari Taha

Department of Engineering Design and Manufacture, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya (UM), Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: Tel: +60-17-6140012.

Accepted 15 July, 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.

Key words: Survey findings, new product development, factor analysis, virtual team.

Ale Ebrahim et al.Critical factors for new product developments in SMEs virtual team. Afr. J. Bus. Manage.

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