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NPD Planning Activities and Innovation Performance: The Mediating Role of Process Management and the Moderating Effect of Product Innovativeness


Address correspondence to: Sören Salomo, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Universitätsstr, 15/G3, 8010 Graz, Austria. E-mail:


The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of planning and control on the performance of new product development (NPD) projects. It is hypothesized that (1) thorough business planning at the beginning of a project creates a basis for proficient project and risk planning; (2) the proficiency of project planning, risk planning, and process management activities each improves innovation performance directly; (3) the relationship of planning and success is mediated by process management; and (4) the strength of these relationships is moderated by uncertainty, as determined by the degree of innovativeness. To test the hypotheses, data from 132 NPD projects were collected and analyzed. A measurement model was used to establish valid and reliable constructs, a path model to test the main effects, and a multiple-moderated regression analysis for the moderator hypotheses. The results suggest that the proficiency of project planning and process management is important predictors of NPD performance. Specifically, project risk planning and goal stability throughout the development process are found to enhance performance significantly. Business planning proves to be an important antecedent of the more development-related planning activities such as project planning and risk planning. Additionally, the results lend support to the hypotheses regarding the mediating role of process management in the planning–performance relationship. Project planning and risk planning support the quality of process management and thus impact NPD performance indirectly. Only to a limited extent are the strengths of these relationships moderated by the degree of innovativeness of the NPD project.