Investigating the Drivers of Innovation and New Product Success: A Comparison of Strategic Orientations


  • *The author is grateful for the invaluable feedback provided by Abbie Griffin on an earlier version of this article. The author also thanks the editor, Anthony Di Benedetto, anonymous reviewers of the European Institute for the Advanced Studies of Management and the Journal of Product Innovation Management, as well as the participants at the 13th Annual Product Innovation Management conference in Milan, for their feedback that helped to improve this article. This study was supported by a Faculty of Economics & Commerce Grant from the University of Melbourne.

Address correspondence to: Angela Paladino, Department of Management and Marketing, Level 4, Alan Gilbert Building, University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia. Tel.: +61 3 8344 1916. Fax: +61 3 9348 1921. E-mail:


The notion of producing innovations and achieving new product success has received a great deal of attention. Though many have investigated these effects in marketing and various fields within management, there has been little cross-fertilization between fields of study to explain the basis for this superior performance. Though research has examined the resource-based view (RBV) and market orientation individually, none has evaluated and compared their effect on firm innovation and new product success in one study. Furthermore, although empirical work has been conducted between market orientation and organizational learning, comparatively less research has been conducted to evaluate the relationship between organizational learning and the RBV to examine their combined effects on a firm's ability to innovate and succeed. Subsequently, the purpose of the present article is to investigate whether a focus on the customer (i.e., market orientation) or the firm (i.e., RBV) will drive the ability to (1) innovate within the firm and (2) succeed in terms of new product success, financial performance, market share, and customer value. The present article examines the relationship between organizational learning and the RBV and market orientation. It presents an empirically testable framework that investigates the relationship that RBV and market orientation have with performance outcomes. Data were collected from 249 senior executives. LISREL was applied to evaluate the relationships. Confirmatory factor analysis and related techniques were applied to assess the robustness of the measures used. Findings show that organizational learning is strongly associated with market orientation, which in turn impacts various performance outcomes including customer value. The RBV had a significant relationship with new product success. These results suggest that managers seeking innovation and new product success should focus less on the provision of customer value. Instead they should look toward developing their resources within the firm, including investing in human resources, to ultimately provide value to the firm. Findings indicate that this unique offering—innovations—will have an indirect effect on customer value and financial performance. In contrast, those in pursuit of positive financial performance and customer value should focus on the development of market orientation. Even though this will not necessarily lead to the development of innovative processes and new product success according to the present study, this approach may lead to a greater market share in the long term. This article reviews theoretical and managerial implications in more depth, providing an impetus for further research.