Does customer participation hurt new product development performance?Customer role, product newness, and conflict

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Wang, L 
Jin, JL 
Zhou, KZ 
Li, CB 
Yin, E 

Despite the importance of customer participation in new product development in business-to-business markets, its specific challenges and potential downsides are under-examined. Drawing on the boundary theory perspective, this study integrates conflict into the customer participation literature and proposes that whereas customer participation as the information provider (CPI) mitigates customer-developer conflict, customer participation as the codeveloper (CPC) increases it. Furthermore, the nature of new products moderates such effects. Market newness attenuates the role of CPI in mitigating conflict and reduces the positive effect of CPC on conflict; by contrast, technology newness increases the influence of CPC on conflict. The empirical results from a sample of 181 high-tech firms in China largely support these propositions, which offer important implications for customer participation research and practices.

35 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services, 3503 Business Systems In Context, 3506 Marketing, 3507 Strategy, Management and Organisational Behaviour, 9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
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Journal of Business Research
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This study was supported by the General Research Fund from the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong SAR Government (Project No. HKU 17503014). Dr. Wang gratefully acknowledges the support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71902118). Dr. Jin gratefully acknowledges the support from the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. PA2019000513) and Shanghai Pujiang Talent Program (No. 2019PJC102)