Strategic alignment and new product development: drivers and performance effects
Strategic alignment is widely accepted as a prerequisite for a firm's success, but insight into the role of alignment in, and its impact on, the new product development (NPD) process and its performance is less well developed. Most publications on this topic either focus on one form of alignment or on one or a limited set of NPD performance indicators. Furthermore, different and occasionally contradictory findings have been reported. NPD scholars have long argued for the importance of fit between context and NPD activities. However, this body of literature suffers from the same weakness: most publications have a limited scope and the findings are not always consistent with results reported previously. This study addresses these deficiencies by examining (1) the effects of various internal and external factors on different forms of alignment, and (2) the effects of these forms of alignment on a set of NPD performance indicators. Strategic planning and innovativeness appear to affect technological, market, and NPD-marketing alignment positively. Environmental munificence is negatively associated with NPD-marketing alignment, but has no effect on the two other forms of alignment. Technological change has a positive effect on technological alignment, a negative effect on NPD-marketing alignment, but no effect on market alignment. These findings suggest that internal capabilities are more likely to be associated with the development of strategic alignment than environmental factors are. Furthermore, technological and NPD-marketing alignment affect NPD performance positively, while market alignment does not have any significant performance effects.