Stanko, M.; Molina-Castillo, Francisco-Jose; Munuera-Aleman, Jose-Luis
Journal of Product Innovation Management (2012), Volume 29, Issue 5, Pages 751-765
Publication year: 2012


The relationships among speed to market, quality, and costs are important to managers as they attempt to best establish incentives and set goals for new product development teams, allocate resources for new product development, or create positional advantage in the market. The existing literature suggests that the economic consequences of being late to the market are significant, including higher development and manufacturing costs, lower profit margins, and lessening of the firm’s market value. Therefore, traditional logic has held that new product development managers need to manage the trade-offs among speed to market, quality, and costs. While both scholars and managers have often acquiesced to performance trade-offs among “faster, better, and cheaper,” this research attempts to improve understanding of the interrelationships between these objectives, and ultimately profit. Based on a survey of 197 managers, faster speed to market is shown to be related to better quality and lower costs; it is not necessary to sacrifice one of these outcomes. Further, the moderating roles of two dimensions of innovativeness (innovativeness to the firm and to the market) are examined on the relationships between speed and quality, as well as speed and profit. Both dimensions of innovativeness positively moderate the relationship between speed to market and quality. For more innovative products (both to the firm and the market), there is a stronger positive relationship between speed and quality than for less innovative products. Further, innovativeness to the firm negatively moderates the relationship between speed and profit. Thus, speed has a less positive impact on profit for highly innovative-to-the-firm products compared with less innovative-to-the-firm products. By being conscious of the projects’ levels of innovativeness (along with prioritizing various performance measures), managers can more rationally decide when to emphasize speed to market based on this study’s findings.