Eric Brun (),
Alf Steinar Sætre () and
Martin Gjelsvik ()
Additional contact information Eric Brun: Department of Business Administration, University of Stavanger, 4036 Stavanger, Norway
Alf Steinar Sætre: Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Martin Gjelsvik: International Research Institute of Stavanger, 4068 Stavanger, Norway
In this paper we challenge the traditional notion of ambiguity as an undesirable element in New Product Development (NPD) and explore how companies sometimes sustain or even increase ambiguity during their NPD projects. Based on qualitative analysis of case data from four NPD projects in the medical-device industry, we present a model by which this process can be better understood. We identify four ways that NPD projects can benefit from temporarily sustaining ambiguity: retaining fallback options, saving costs, saving time, and retaining ideas.