Risk management in new product development project: a case study of Finnish video game companies

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
Management and International Business (MIB)
New product development (“NPD”) is an essential demand of companies and risk management in NPD project has been a topic of interest in management studies during the past decades. However, the body of research about risk management in NPD projects has been focusing on conventional industries with physical products. Embedded in the literature on risk management in NPD projects, the thesis examines the NPD risk management practices in the context of a new, fast-changing industry: the Finnish video game development by conducting in-depth interviews with project managers in five case companies. Key results: theoretically, the thesis has synthesized an NPD risk management framework in the context of video game development industry. This framework consists of stage-gate project management and fostering factors of transparency, communication and learning experience. Moreover, the thesis proposes a new approach to the classification of risk factors in NPD project, which see risk as inherent and emergent factors instead of conventional way of seeing risks under internal and external perspective. The thesis also highlights the importance of investigating the interrelationships of risk factors in NPD projects and the role of project managers. Practically, the thesis has mapped out a comprehensive list of key risk factors and risk management practices in the video game development industry. This is a useful source for practitioners in the field, especially small start-ups with limited resources. In general, risk management practices in game development industry in Finland vary, depending on the development of the game studios. Risk management in this industry is still in early-developed stage if being compared to NPD risk management in other industry studied in current literature. Therefore, study also highlights the need for formal risk management practices in this industry.
Thesis advisor
Mihailova, Irina
new product development, risk management, video game development, project management
Other note
Tutkielman tiivistelmätiedoissa näkyvä hyväksymisvuosi on 2018.
The year of approval showing in the abstract of the thesis is 2018.