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13.06.2019 | Original Empirical Research

When less is more: the downside of customer knowledge sharing in new product development teams

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Yihui (Elina) Tang, Detelina Marinova
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11747-019-00646-w) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Stefan Wuyts served as Area Editor for this article.

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Despite the common belief that knowledge sharing in new product development (NPD) teams is beneficial, empirical findings are mixed. We adopt a microfoundations perspective and draw from the socio-cognitive theory to propose a model that theorizes a nonlinear effect of customer knowledge sharing behaviors on NPD performance. In particular, we identify the underlying mechanism through which shared common customer knowledge and perceived diagnostic value shape the nonlinear returns to customer knowledge sharing behaviors. In Study 1, data from the biotechnology industry provide support for the hypothesis that customer knowledge sharing behaviors in NPD teams have an inverted U-shaped relationship with NPD performance. In Study 2, data from business-to-business (B2B) industries demonstrate that customer knowledge sharing behaviors are positively related to shared common customer knowledge in NPD teams, and the latter has an inverted U-shaped effect on NPD performance. Finally, this nonlinear effect is moderated by the team’s perceived diagnostic value of customer knowledge, such that the inflection point of the inverted U-shaped curve is shifted upward in teams with high levels of perceived diagnostic value of customer knowledge, strengthening the impact of shared common knowledge on NPD performance.

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