The aim of this study is to examine the role of process innovation in new product development through a detailed case study analysis of specialty chemical product development. The analysis employs the MAIS approach, which is a framework for comprehending social and technical phenomena from the perspective of the interaction of material entities, actors, and institutional/structural factors.
Product innovation and process innovation have been often understood as separate phenomena, with the former preceding the latter. Abernathy – Utterback model is a classic example of this. By contrast, in the development processes of specialty chemical products, such as paint, pharmaceuticals, and new materials, it has been noted that product and process innovation occur approximately in parallel, with product development being driven by the interaction between the two. Despite the awareness of the importance of the interaction of product and process innovation, there is a lack of research on the issue. This study aims to contribute to filling the gap.