HCBE Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship


Cynthia Ruppel

Committee Member

Yuliya Yurova

Committee Member

Leslie Tworoger


This dissertation considered whether new product development practices employed resolved the uncertainty and equivocality in information processing created by external turbulence. With external turbulence coming from more sources and arriving with greater frequency, this wave of change must be addressed to achieve desired project outcomes. Healthcare was the target industry for this research and respondents were selected from members of HIMSS, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. Five hundred sixty-three survey responses were collected about completed new product development projects. The aspects of the projects reported included the external turbulence experienced, flexible new product development practices employed, the effectiveness of information processing and the project’s outcomes. The results using all respondents did not show support for the crucial hypothesis that reduction of uncertainty and equivocality in the information processing environment leads to desired new product development outcomes. While the full respondent set did not support the main hypothesis, the subset of projects that were completed during the ramp-up of the Affordable Care Act showed the hypothesized relationship. With the Affordable Care Act ramp-up, there was a wave of change and a high volume of new information generated by external turbulence. Those organizations that were successful used their information processing capabilities to reduce uncertainty and equivocality and address the changes. Their information processing capability combined with flexible product development practices was directly related to positive new product development outcomes. The extreme example of external turbulence that occurred during the Affordable Care Act ramp-up supported the crucial hypothesis about information processing. The research also found that external turbulence is related to the positive use of flexible new product development practices and that use of those practices is directly related to desired new product development outcomes. In the presence of external turbulence, product development teams use flexible new product development practices to achieve desired project outcomes. The major implication from this study is the need by product development teams to consider external turbulence as a factor in all product plans. It was the strongest relationship reported.

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