This article responds to the lack of research on the way a new idea is transformed into a market-accepted new product. Through non-participant observation and multiple interviews, an empirical investigation within a large French telecommunications operator (OPERACOM), shows that companies should integrate an exploration activity into the innovation process. In order to facilitate its implementation by managers, the research proposes a synthesis of features, comprising the exploration axes/criteria (technology, client use and business value), the participants (clients/creative users, designers, partners...), the organisational system (exploration centre, core team), the governance as well as the added value of the activity. The paper further combines theoretical findings with empirical data to identify the managerial implications of the findings, as well as additional theoretical considerations.
- New product development