How Social Ties Inside Companies Can Affect Product Introduction Success


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How Social Ties Inside Companies Can Affect Product Introduction Success
Andrea Farkas, Member, Entrepreneur, Netherlands

Existing research already established the relevance and impact of both instrumental social ties (which is more on a professional level) and expressive social ties (which is more friendship like) on creativity, idea generation and resource allocation.
Using an online survey, I researched the influencing effects of social ties (both instrumental and expressive) on new product introduction success. The purpose of the research was to find out wether the strength (strong versus weak) and the type (positive versus negative) of ties influences the success of newly introduced products. The hypotheses of the research were that strong and positive ties have a positive impact on new product introduction success and their positive impact makes a significant contribution to the market success of new products.

In summary, even though the results were not statistically significant, they suggest the opposite of what was hypothesized. The results suggest that there is a negative association between the number of strong instrumental ties and new product introduction success, and the relationship between these two are negatively affected by positive ties and positively affected by negative ties. In laymen terms, this means that having a personal dislike among colleagues doesn’t necessarily have a negative impact on the work output. Rather the opposite.

Even though this finding conflicts with what I hypothesized earlier, it confirms the findings of an earlier study which suggests that teams with individuals engaged in strong personal relationships and have frequent communication among each other are less likely to produce creative ideas, probably because such strong relationships have a higher risk of sharing the same or very similar knowledge base, and therefore are at are at higher risk of sharing redundant knowledge.

It would be nice to hear your views with experiences in product introduction processes, to learn if you recognize the above findings, and if you agree that strong, positive ties are not so beneficial in a professional work environment.

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