An Empirical Study of Capability Development within Product Innovation Projects


  • Alireza Javanmardi Kashan Queensland University of Technology
  • Kavoos Mohannak Queensland University of Technology



Capability development, auto-industry, knowledge integration, product innovation


The objective of this paper is to develop insights into firms’ strategic capability development processes within product innovation projects. In particular, the research aims at investigating the interactions among product innovation, knowledge processes, and capability development within firms. Building on qualitative data from the auto-industry, our analysis reveals that across four product innovation projects, the case company developed architectural knowledge and capability. Findings reveal that, along with changes at each level of product architecture, “design knowledge” and “design capability” have been developed at the same level of product architecture, leading to capability development at that level. Furthermore, findings suggest that such capability transformation resulting from knowledge and capability creation over the course of case projects leads to modularization of product architecture. Overall, the research contributes to identifying and emphasizing the role of micro processes in capability development and renewal, which in turn enhances our understanding of strategic capability development processes.


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Author Biographies

Alireza Javanmardi Kashan, Queensland University of Technology

Alireza Javanmardi Kashan is a researcher within the School of Management at the Queensland University of Technology. He has recently completed a PhD research program in strategy, innovation management and entrepreneurship, entitled: “Strategic Capability Development: A multi-level case study of knowledge integration within product innovation”. He has extensive experience in both academic and industry contexts and also has served previously as a R&D manager within a major manufacturing company in Iran.

Kavoos Mohannak, Queensland University of Technology

Kavoos Mohannak is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Management at the Queensland University of Technology. Currently he teaches courses on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation management. His research program is based around developing and enhancing understandings of innovation systems; knowledge management and integration both at firm level and from a conceptual and cross-cultural perspectives; university-industry linkages; technology transfer & commercialization and analysis of industry clusters. Much of his work in these areas has appeared in international journals and scholarly books. He also has conducted research on cultural aspects of knowledge management and has published an edited book on Knowledge Management in Developing Countries.


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How to Cite

Kashan, A. J., & Mohannak, K. (2015). An Empirical Study of Capability Development within Product Innovation Projects. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 10(1), 70–82.



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