The Three-loop Learning Model Appliance in New Product Development

  • Žiedūna Liepė Kaunas University of Technology
  • Algimantas Sakalas Kaunas University of Technology
Keywords: Innovation, new product development, learning, organizational learning.


Today's companies are experiencing significant pressures from increased levels of competition, rapidly changing market requirements, higher rates of technical obsolescence, shorter product life-cycles and the heightened importance of meeting the needs of increasingly sophisticated customers. Many companies realize that in order to provide value and win customers they now need to quickly and accurately identify changing customer needs, develop more complex products to satisfy those needs, provide higher levels of customer support and service, and utilize the power of information technology to provide greater functionality and performance. Consequently, greater focus is being placed in having new product development frameworks that achieve an optimized balance of internal execution effectiveness, coupled with an ability to delight customers (Shepherd, Ahmed, 2000).Learning and accumulation of (new) knowledge in an organization always start with the individual. An individual’s personal knowledge has to be transformed into information that other members of the organization can use in their accumulation of knowledge in order to apply it to create (new) values for the organization. Learning and accumulation of new knowledge in an organization always require two transformation processes: one transformation process from data to information and another from information to (new) knowledge. This is so because only information, and not knowledge, can be shared and spread among the members of the organization.This paper emphasizes the importance of learning on new product development and demonstrates that learning is a critical component of such development. Learning in new product development process is cited as being vital in today’s competitive, uncertain and turbulent environments. In this study we present three general learning styles and two main categories of Non-Duetero and Duetero learning, emphasizing their performance in new product development process. It is also given a multi - dimensional learning framework in new product development which is best conceived with nine correlated but distinct elements: information acquisition, information dissemination, information implementation, unlearning, thinking, improvisation, intelligence, sense-making, and memory. Akgun, Lynn and Reilly (2002) affirm, that organizational learning is not just information acquisition or information implementation, it is a combination of many cognitive components.Because fierce market, customer needs and technological environments make learning a standard requirement for organizations competitiveness, they can be successful in their new products only if they learn more quickly than their competitors. The results of scientific literature analysis showed that Duetero learning is more: knowledgeable about the factors that drive successful and failed products; inclined to establish business goals and employ balanced measures when benchmarking new product development. All this suggests that organizational learning should be considered as a critical component in new product development.