The research is based on ten case studies undertaken within five industrial sectors: lighting (light fabrication), watches (personal consumer products), white goods, automotive and telecommunications. Cases are representative of the differing types of Chinese organisations, and include examples of privately, collectively and state owned enterprises (POEs, COEs and SOEs), together with international joint ventures (IJVs). Conceptual approaches are developed to examine organisational background, NPD culture, technology transfer, NPD coordination, entrepreneurial behaviour, network development and market dynamics within each case study. The units of analysis in the framework reflect three main themes of intra, extra-organisational and strategic issues which are revisited throughout the thesis.
The case studies are analysed using a mapping process in which each of the cases is described in terms of its engagement with NPD roles and performance and their correlation with economic development, compared with Western practice. Contingent on this, the thesis identifies a series of assumptions within Western literature, which are evaluated by assessing the case study findings, to establish the transferability of NPD conceptions. In addition, correlations between differing NPD related issues are identified using repertory grid theory detailed in a separate appendix and complementary to the case study analysis.
The thesis concludes by proposing models of strategic NPD specific to Chinese organisations, at both intra-organisational, and micro and macro-economic levels; these provide an overview of distinctive NPD performance in indigenous companies, contextualised within the Chinese economy. The implication is that the future development of the Chinese economy will necessitate greater engagement with NPD, albeit in a differing form.