Identifying the Factors that Affect Mistrust and Uncertainty in Front-End Performance of Korean MNEs

  • Se Ryeong Kim

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This study investigates and identifies the factors that affect mistrust and uncertainty when Korean industrial multinational enterprises (MNEs) generate new ideas in the front-end phase of new product development (NPD) processes. Specifically, this study focuses on the process of applying research data to support the generation and development of new products. Current research indicates that many companies frequently experience difficulties in this regard. This study comprises a large body of empirical study-centred research. It collates multiple interviews with research-based teams (consisting of planners as well as marketers and lifestyle researchers) and practice-based teams (i.e. designers and engineers) of leading multinational companies in the smart electronics and automobile industries. A primary outcome of the research is the specification of key constructs relating to mistrust and uncertainty during the application of research data in the process of selecting new ideas within the front-end of the NPD process, which appear to be linked to three factors: (i) a lack of common language (perspectives and approaches related to data and information when obtaining insights) between diverse expertise groups, (ii) a lack of appropriate communication channels between different functional groups, and (iii) a lack of productive tactics in using internal information. This research aims to enrich NPD studies by presenting the validity of the existing theory with detailed practical examples and to find distinctive new knowledge by identifying emerging issues from recent NPD processes in the industry. Furthermore, this study establishes an idea generation framework that will potentially enable MNEs to use their research data more effectively when developing real products and to better perform cross-functional tasks.
Date of Award5 Feb 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Edge Hill University
SupervisorSIMON BOLTON (Director of Studies)


  • MNEs
  • NPD
  • Front-end
  • Idea Generation
  • Design thinking
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Mistrust
  • Uncertainty
  • Stimulus Data

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