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Performance in Product Development - The Case of Complex Products


Publication Type:

Doctoral Thesis


Mälardalen University Press Dissertations


This research addresses the concept of performance in the development of complex products. More specifically, its aim is to study how performance is perceived and measured within large global companies, and how performance measurement systems can be designed in a systematic way.The exploratory results regard how performance is currently perceived and measured. It is argued that performance measurements are focused on the later stages of the development of complex products, thus making it difficult to perform changes during the development. The focus is on lagging rather than leading indicators of performance, hence it is concluded that focus is on reporting the result rather than the causes of the result. In line with these findings is the weak link between what managers perceive as success factors and what is measured, the perception of performance being influenced by what is measured, rather than the reverse.The prescriptive results focus on the development of models and frameworks to be used during the development of complex products. A general method for developing performance indicators is presented. The concept of Products in Development is proposed, this making it possible to monitor how value is created during the development of a product. Both these models aim at complementing the currently used performance measurement system in order to support effective and efficient development of complex products.The method used in this research is mainly focused around the collection of qualitative data through a focused group interview, multiple case studies,and industrial reference-group seminars. A survey has also been used to complement the qualitative with quantitative data. The use of various research methods has made it possible to triangulate the data, thus strengthening the validity of the findings.


author = {Stefan Cedergren},
title = {Performance in Product Development - The Case of Complex Products},
number = {93},
month = {January},
year = {2011},
school = {M{\"a}lardalen University Press Dissertations},
url = {}