Purpose – Firms engaged in new product development (NPD) have to achieve a balanced portfolio of NPD projects. Despite the large number of models purporting to support portfolio optimization, most of them do not take into account political bias in project selection decisions. This paper aims to analyze approaches of organizational politics to NPD project selection and their implications for NPD portfolio management and future research. Design/methodology/approach – A review is made of the current literature at the intersection between organizational politics and NPD project selection. With regard to the underlying assumptions of organizational politics, similarities, differences, practical implications, and research perspectives are identified. Findings – From the paper, insights could be gained into explaining the effects of organizational politics on NPD project selection. However, the differences in assumptions that can be generally observed in organizational politics are also reflected in the studies analyzed. Future research could benefit from integrating different political and methodological perspectives. Practical implications – In order to reach a balanced NPD portfolio, the potentially dysfunctional biases which characterize political processes from idea generation to project selection should be addressed. A concept of NPD portfolio management is proposed which considers the management of power and politics. Originality/value – This paper contributes to a more comprehensive overview of political approaches of NPD project selection and serves as a sound basis for future research. The relevance and implications of politics for NPD portfolio management are demonstrated.
European Journal of Innovation Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 25, 2011
Keywords: Organizations; Organizational politics; Product development