The Impacts of IT Infrastructure Flexibility on New Product Competitive Advantages

정보기술 기반구조의 유연성이 신제품 경쟁우위에 미치는 영향

  • 정승민 (연세대학교 경영대학 경영연구소) ;
  • 김준석 (연세대학교 경영대학) ;
  • 임건신 (연세대학교 경영대학)
  • Published : 2007.06.30

Abstract

The success of new product development is a key factor for getting competitive advantages. Marketing research has been investigating marketing capability, manufacturing technical capability, cross-functional integration, market knowledge competence, market orientation, and competitive environment as the key success factors of new product development. Recently, the role of IT infrastructure in enhancing new product advantage is assumed in the literature. However, the empirical studies on the role of IT infrastructure are lacking. The purpose of this study is to empirically exam the impacts of IT infrastructure on new product competitive advantage. In this study, IT infrastructure is conceptualized as the flexibility of IT infrastructure. Based on previous research, a conceptual model is established by incorporating the direct impact of IT infrastructure flexibility and its indirect impact through the key success factors on new product development. To empirically test the research model, data are surveyed from a pair of IS department and Marketing department of 92 consumer goods manufacturers. By employing PLS technique, the measurement reliability and reliability of research variables are tested and the path analysis is conducted to do the hypothesis testing. The path analysis shows that IT infrastructure flexibility has no direct effect on new product advantage, However, the indirect effect of IT infrastructure is found, which is mediated by marketing capability, manufacturing technical capability, cross-functional integration, and market orientation respectively. Hence, The flexible IT infrastructure increases cross-functional integration (H1), market orientation (H3), marketing capability (H5), and manufacturing technical capability (H6). All success factors of new product development excepts for competitive environment have a positive association with new product competitive advantages (from H10 to H14). Finally, the path from IT infrastructure flexibility to cross-functional integration, to market orientation, to market knowledge capability, and to new product advantage is found as the strongest path. These results indicate that the flexible IT infrastructure enhances information sharing with multiple departments and collaboration within a distributed innovation environment. The collaboration among departments positively affects the level of customer and competitor intelligence. The ability to obtain knowledge about customers and competitors makes firms to adapt to a changing environment quickly and to respond to customers' demands adequately. The flexible IT infrastructure also enhances the capability of organization to more rapidly respond to the changes in product design resulting in faster product development and reduced costs. In addition to, it enhances marketing capability by the two-way communications with customers and the analyses of various kinds of customer data. In brief, the finding of this study suggests that the flexible IT infrastructure allows many firms to pursue sustained new product competitive advantages. This study advances research on IT infrastructure in two important aspects. First, by Integrating marketing research and IS research, this study develops a conceptual model on the role of IT infrastructure in enhancing new product advantage. Second, it empirically finds the indirect impacts of IT infrastructure on new product advantage, which confirms the potential for the IS field to contribute to new product development research. The limitations of this study are also discussed to provide research directions for future research.

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