Emergent research has examined the antecedents to using information technology (IT) in the new product development (NPD) process and the impact of IT on NPD performance. Based on the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm, this study hypothesizes that particular resources create IT capabilities that significantly enhance NPD outcomes. More specifically, this research extends previous work by investigating whether three complementary resources, namely an executive champion for IT, global engagement, and organizational innovativeness, influence IT capabilities (IT use frequency and IT replacement frequency), which in turn affect NPD outcomes (NPD task proficiency and NPD performance). To test the conceptual model, survey data were collected from 220 NPD and IT managers in a variety of large Japanese firms. The results show that an executive champion for IT and global engagement are predictors of both IT tool use and replacement frequency while organizational innovativeness contributes only to IT tool replacement frequency. The results also indicate that both IT tool use and replacement frequency have a positive effect on NPD task proficiency, which improves NPD performance. This research contributes to the literature by adding understanding of the role of IT in NPD at the firm level in four ways. First, it examines particular organizational complementary resources and their relationship to IT capabilities. Second, it examines the RBV and IT in the context of NPD, an important business process. Third, it measures IT usage in a more granular fashion (i.e., IT tool use frequency and IT replacement frequency) rather than simply IT usage as a dichotomy. Finally, through testing the proposed model with data collected from Japanese firms, this study provides empirical evidence from an Asian country to answer the call for more NPD research to be conducted in countries other than North American and Western European contexts. The findings of the study also provide implications for managers. Importantly, they indicate that an executive level champion for IT is a key influencer in facilitating IT usage and replacement, and likely can help generate awareness of and support for greater IT investments so the firm can create IT capabilities for effective NPD.
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