Rolling out new products across country markets: An empirical study of causes of delays

Georgios Chrysochoidis, Veronica Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Faced with the challenge of launching a new product into numerous countries, managers may view a sequential rollout as the prudent course of action. Rather than launching the product simultaneously in diverse countries, they may believe they can reduce risk by launching first in one or two countries, and then in others. However, this strategy overlooks the interplay between timeliness in international new product rollouts (INPR) and product success. George M. Chryssochoidis and Veronica Wong explore these issues in a study of 30 high-tech products launched into multiple European markets. Their study has three objectives: examining the incidence of timeliness and delays in simultaneous and sequential INPR; exploring the causes of delays in INPR; and assessing the effects that INPR timeliness and delays have on new product outcomes. They define timeliness in INPR as the availability of the new product to the firm's multiple target markets within the time frame planned by the company's managers. In other words, timeliness in this study reflects a company's capability for adhering to the schedule that management has established. Contrary to expectations, the results of this study do not reveal direct effects on timeliness in INPR from such sources as diversity of target markets or the firm's external environment. These results suggest that firms can achieve on-time, multicountry rollout of new products notwithstanding the legal, technological, and competitive environment. For the firms in this study, timeliness in INPR depends on such factors as sufficiency of marketing and technological resources (for example, to train sales staff, provide after-sales service, and adapt the product for multiple markets), proficiency in executing new product development activities, and effective communication between a company's headquarters and its business units and customers in different countries. Among the 22 product launches categorized as sequential rollouts in this study, 15 experienced delays. All eight of the simultaneous launches were timely. The results of this study indicate a positive relationship between timeliness in INPR and new-product success. Conversely, for the firms in this study, delays in INPR resulted in lower-than-expected product sales and profitability. In other words, the seemingly less risky sequential launch strategy may actually increase the risk of new product failure by delaying product rollout in multiple markets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-41
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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