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New ways of organizing product introductions


The aim of this paper is to describe and reflect on an interactive research approach used to address the challenges on how to improve product introductions, the part of the product realization process associated with the transfer of a product from product development to serial production. In the interactive research approach, research results as well as improvement of practice are given equal importance. The collaboration between researchers and practitioners therefore addresses both the focus and the process of the change. The approach includes four main iterative steps: 1) mapping/diagnosis, 2) feedback of results, 3) participation in development activities, and 4) follow-up/evaluation. The paper reports findings from interactive research in one company within office product industry and one company group, consisting of three company units within the engine industry. Preliminary findings indicate that the participating companies afterwards work in a more structured way with product introductions and that the employees have gained deeper knowledge about product introductions as well as experienced the advantages of working across functional boundaries. Furthermore, the interactive research approach is suitable to run projects from an ergonomics perspective as it focuses on developing both practice and theory, it is human-centered, and it emphasizes broad participation from practitioners.