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Introduction of new products on a consistent basis is a vital part in ensuring future success of many organizations. In the modern days, technology is growing at a faster rate; application of technology in almost every field is increasing, to increase the frequency of work process, since time is an important constraint in this fast changing world, it is extremely important to get the things right, at right point of time. Dynamic market has amplified the level of completion among industries; the industries must be synchronized with the needs of market.
Need in the market give rise to a new product development, though every other second the market is loaded with new products, but the product designed with all the specifications of market succeeds over the other. Cost effectiveness and quality are the main concern of the customer, which could be fulfilled through a systematic Product Development Process (PDP). This research explains various methods, issues involved in the product development process, to arrive at an effective PDP and survive in the market.
3. Research Rationale
The primary aim of the research is to spotlight the significance of product development process with significance to the strategic position of a company. The research also aims at figuring out the latest trends in this innovative process that would aid the firms in the decision making process.
Researching as to benchmark the product development strategies
Devising a frame work to colligate PDP with strategic positioning
Identifying the extent of impact of core Product Development Processes on strategic frame board
Evaluating all the relevant factors that influence the PDP
Cognitive approach towards the strategic positioning of Apple Inc.
4. Literature Review
4.1 Insights of Product Development Process
Product development process has its roots from the term innovation which is administered by market needs and trends. It is a sequential process aimed at deliberating a specific goal in coherence to the basic motives and underlying principles as well.
5. Briefing of Case Study - Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. is a multinational company founded by Steve Jobs in 1976 generating a revenue of $32.48 billions (2008). The company is primarily involved in the design and manufacture of consumer electronic products. Computer software's and retail stores are the other operations of the company. Over the decades the company evolved massively positioning itself strategically in the consumer electronics industry sector. Apple in 2001 launched its first digital music player which is unique of its kind by the trade name 'i-pod'. It can be said that Apple Inc. started to see itself in a dimension at the market place with its unique product and then on it started innovation towards the development of new similar products as to cater the needs of consumers falling under various market segmentation categories.
The Apple's surge for product innovation is accomplished by its efficient product development process. From i-pod shuffle, the first model of Apple's music player it launched i-pod Nano, i-pod Classic and i-pod Touch which is the most sophisticated music player of Apple. In a sequential development process the latest models are always embedded with advanced technology and more fascinating features making the consumers to move for Apple products. Recently this year Apple came up with a new product which is also termed as shuffle but which is far in advance technology wise when compared to its previous products. Though this is not an entirely new product with exciting features, as to keep the phase of Product Development Process it acted so.
The research interests lie in colligating the Apple's PDP strategies with its strategic position. The development of products and launching the same at the market place plays a crucial role in creating a brand image which in other words can be termed as the strategic position.
6. Research Philosophy
According to Saunders 2007, there are six kinds of philosophical views which are Positivism, Realism, Interpretivism (further divided into two intellectual traditions: phenomenology and symbolic interactionism), Objectivism, Subjectivism, Pragmatism. (Saunders et al, 2007)
The philosophy of interpretivism permits researchers to explore the details of complex situations that occur in the case of business, management and economics. It is therefore appropriate for conducting research in the proposed topic area. (Saunders et al, 2003). In the real situation Interpretivism helps to discover the details of the situation to understand the reality or perhaps the real working of a particular process. This is often associated with the term constructionism.
In this study interpretivism is being chosen as one of the research philosophy as the study itself reveals the idea of critically evaluating on one point and doing detail analysis related to the topic "Product Development Process". It is therefore the role of the interpretivists to seek and understand their motives, actions and intentions in a way that is meaningful for such research.
(Saunders et al.,2003)
7. Research Approach and Methodologies
The two approaches available for conducting a research project are the 'deductive' and the 'inductive' approach. The deductive approach to research involves the development of a theory or "hypothesis" prior to data collection and verifying it through testing. Whereas, the inductive approach involves formulating a theory on the basis of the analysis of data collected.
Deductive approach simply owes much to what we would think of as scientific
Research. It involves the development of a theory that is subjective to a rigorous test. Basically this approach owes more toward positivism
It's an approach in which you develop a theory and hypothesis and design a research strategy to test the hypothesis.
Inductive approach owes more towards interpretivism. It includes;
Interviewing a sample (say employees) and their supervisor about the experience of the work etcetera.
Analyze the interviewed data etcetera. Ultimately the result would be formulating of the theory.
Here in this theory inductive approach is suitable to a large extent but then inductive ways also have a role to get at an holistic approach towards the conclusion.
Survey's of different organization to get the practical outline and analyzing the working of this particular theory. Interviews of different organization's fund managers of which how they conduct /implement this theory in their real working situations and to know how this theory really works in the actually corporate scenario.
8. Research Strategies
A research strategy is concerned with the overall approach adopted for data collection and analysis. The various methods available include conducting an 'Experiment', 'Survey', 'Case study', 'and Grounded theory ',' Ethnography 'and' Action research'.
Research strategy basically means general plan of how you will go about answering the research questions. It helps to make clear the objectives derived from your research questions, specify the source of collecting data and also considering the constraints which inevitably being incurred
Here in this study most suitable strategy would be 'case study' which involve an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon with in its real life scenario with the different evidence.
This strategy mainly helps to gain a rich understanding of the context of the research and the process being undertaken. This strategy also has the ability to generate answers to the questions 'why' 'what' 'how'.
Various data collection methods may be employed using this strategy such as, questionnaires, interviews, observations, documentary evidence analysis.
According to Mark Saunders this strategy has "unscientific feel" and the best way to explore the existing theory.
(Saunders et al.,2003)
9. Time Horizon
It is obvious that research do needs planning. According to Mark Saunders there exist two time horizon studies;
"Snap shot" approach i.e. Cross sectional
"Dairy Perspective" approach i.e. longitudinal
Here in this study Cross Sectional approach is most suitable i.e. A study of a particular phenomenon at a particular time.
This approach often employee's survey strategy and compares factors in different organization, they may also use qualitative methods where studies are based on interviews conducted over a short period of time. And that exactly suits this theory /study.
(Saunders et al.,2003)
10. Data Acquisition
For the purpose of this dissertation, Interviews, Questionnaires and Secondary data will be used for interpretation and analysis. Sampling theory will be taken into account to try and ensure good representation and for the avoidance of bias. (Saunders et al, 2003
Primary Data Source:
The information access though not truly primary, but can serve as a true representation.
I have got access to gain information from the retail stores such as Carphone Warehouse, HMV, Comet and PC World.
Secondary Data Source:
Online informative sources - EBSCO, GMID (Euromonitor)
Journals and research articles also contribute to a significant extent for the research
11. Data Analysis
The research for this dissertation will involve collecting both qualitative data from semi-structured interviews and quantitative data in the form of questionnaires and statistics from secondary sources. The quantitative data once collected will be organised into tables and pie charts and will be used to support the theories and conclusions derived from a subjective analysis of the qualitative data. The method of analysis to be followed is that proposed by Dey, Miles and Huberman:
Comprehend and manage it
Merge related data drawn from different transcript and notes
Identify key themes or pattern from it for further exploration
Develop and/or test hypotheses based on these apparent patters or relationships
Draw and verify conclusions
(Dey, 1993; Miles and Huberman, 1994, cited by Saunders et al., 1997)
Dissertation Style and Form of Presentation
The dissertation will be presented in the form of a set of chapters;
Introduction - The introductory chapter will provide a background of the central issue discussed in this study along with the primary research question and objectives of this study.
Literature Review - This chapter will provide insight into relevant literary work already published on the topic being discussed. In addition, it will identify the theories that the research was designed to test.
Methodology - This chapter will contain details of the strategies, approaches and methods followed to collect and analyse data for the research.
Discussion - Here the various complex issues concerned with the topic will be discussed and organised in a systematic order for analysis.
Results - The results chapter will report the facts discovered through the research and analysis of the data collected. It will contain graphs and tables to illustrate the findings.
Conclusions - This chapter will make the final judgements on the findings and discuss the implications of the facts uncovered by the research.
Recommendations & Limitations - This chapter will attempt to ascertain any limitations of this research in the approaches and methods of data collection and analysis. In addition, it will suggest relevant subjects for future research which may help to shed more light on the topic area discussed herein.
References - Here, the material of other writers used in the main text will be cited using the conventions of the Harvard referencing system.