Consistency matters in formally selecting incremental and radical new product ideas for advancement

K. Eling, A. Griffin, F. Langerak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Several new product development (NPD) scholars have argued that formal processes should be used when selecting incremental new product ideas for advancement at the very beginning of the fuzzy front end, but that such formal processes may be less beneficial when selecting radical new product ideas. However, arguments also exist for using formal idea selection processes for both types of new product ideas. In practice, informal processes are used for selecting both idea types and more formal processes are used for selecting radical ideas. Unequivocal empirical evidence for either of the opposing views or practices is lacking.
This study sheds light on this matter using data from 161 of the firms that participated in the Product Development and Management Association’s latest (2012) Comparative Performance Assessment Study (CPAS). The results reveal that the highest idea success rate (i.e., the proportion of selected ideas that are eventually launched as new products and are successful in the marketplace) is associated with firms’ use of formal processes to select the vast majority of both incremental and radical new product ideas for advancement. This finding supports earlier claims that even for (raw) idea selection processes that take place at the very beginning of the fuzzy front end, managers need to adopt a portfolio perspective and consistently use formal idea advancement selection processes to ensure attaining the right balance between radical and incremental projects in later stages of the NPD pipeline to enhance overall NPD success. Notably, this finding shows that common managerial practices of using inconsistent approaches for selecting radical and incremental ideas for advancement need to be reconsidered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-33
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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