First Advisor

Antonie Jetter

Date of Publication

Spring 6-5-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technology Management


Engineering and Technology Management




Heuristic algorithms, New products -- Decision making -- Planning, Fuzzy decision making -- Industrial applications



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 191 pages)


In the early stages of new product development, project selection is dominantly based on managerial intuition, rather than on analytic approaches. As much as 90% of all product ideas are rejected before they are formally assessed. However, to date, little is known about the product screening heuristics and screening criteria managers use: it has been suggested that their decision process resembles the "fast and frugal" heuristics identified in recent psychological research, but no empirical research exists. A major part of the product innovation pipeline is thus poorly understood.

This research contributes to closing this gap. It uses cognitive task analysis for an in-depth analysis of the new product screening heuristics of twelve experienced decision makers in 66 decision cases. Based on the emerging data, an integrated model of their project screening heuristics is created. Results show that experts adapt their heuristics to the decision at hand. In doing so, they use a much smaller set of decision criteria than discussed in the product development literature. They also combine heuristics into decision approaches that are simple, but more complex than "fast and frugal" strategies. By opening the black box of project screening this research enables improved project selection practices.


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