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MGMT314 New Product and Service Development

Teaching organisation

3 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Nowadays more than at any time, start–ups commence with the aim of turning a novel concept into a profitable product or service. Therefore, they invest lots of resources and capabilities in R&D activities and developing new products and services. Developing and launching ground–breaking products and services on a timely basis is a key for profit (in long–term), and survival for start–ups. Nevertheless, in spite of the substantial investment in R&D projects and screening and developing new products and services, statistics in a global scale show ongoing high failure rates for start–ups because of their first product’s failure. This underscores the need for better management of new product and service processes and R&D projects in start–ups.

The concentration of this unit is on advancing students’ knowledge of how new product and new service development– in particular R&D capability– creates value and well–being for a start–up/new venture and its stakeholders. It will concentrate on new product and service development and launch in start–ups from a strategic R&D perspective, emphasising the advancement of knowledge of the strategic foundations for new product and service development. The unit is mainly organised around a broad six–phase new product development process in the context of start–ups and new ventures. There is no doubt that a standard process may not work consistently well in all settings and situations, and the universal process that students focus on will need to be adapted for specific industries and contexts.

The major aim of this unit is to develop and enhance students’ knowledge and practical skills of strategic R&D management in start–ups and how it interacts with marketing to create value for customers and community.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - evaluate the key theories and concepts associated with strategic R&D management and new product development in start-ups (GA5, GA8)

LO2 - apply strategic and critical thinking to R&D and new product development issues in start-ups (GA4, GA5)

LO3 - examine the ethical and social issues (i.e. improving social and economic well-being) that are intimately intertwined with start-ups’ R&D and new product development activities (GA2, GA5)

LO4 - Utilise the technological and market information/data that are relevant to key new product and R&D decisions in start-ups (GA5, GA10)

LO5 - Appraise factors that impact new product and service development and R&D decisions in start-ups through effective communication skills (GA5, GA9)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


Topics will include:

  • strategic new product development: definition, evolution and impact
  • practical new product launch in start-ups 
  • the application of innovation models in start-ups’ R&D projects
  • different stages of new product development
  • evaluation of key R&D management theories and concepts
  • service innovation in start-ups
  • communication in the R&D context
  • innovation strategies for new ventures 
  • product concept and prototype development
  • first product commercialisation for start-ups
  • product development issues: marketing-R&D collaboration in start-ups
  • high-tech start-ups’ survival
  • ethical and social issues in R&D management (improving the social and economic well-being of all the stakeholders) 
  • the role of customer involvement in R&D projects.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit adopts active, case study, problem-based and experiential (expert keynote speakers) learning approaches simultaneously to help students in acquiring and integration of knowledge and skills related to R&D and new product development management in start-ups. Students will be able to learn the application of theories and concepts underpinning new product development and R&D management in a series of workshops along with the materials (Videos, texts, exercises, and cases) provided through the online learning platform. Each workshop includes mini-seminars focusing on the core theories followed by practical exercises. Few entrepreneur experts will be invited throughout the semester as keynote speakers to share their practical experiences in new product & service design and development. Through this blended mode of delivery, students- individually and in groups- will be able to develop and accumulate practical knowledge of strategic R&D and new product development management that can impact start-up business success.

Assessment strategy and rationale

To pass this unit, students are required to complete and submit three graded assessment tasks and achieve an aggregate mark of at least 50%. Marking will be by a rubric specifically developed to measure levels of achievement of the learning outcomes for each item of assessment. Students will also be awarded a final grade which signifies their overall achievement in the Unit. 

The assessment strategy for this unit helps students develop their comprehension of and skills in strategic R&D and new product development to the point where students can design, justify and defend a concept / prototype for a new product in a new venture. To accumulate this level of aptitude, students will present their knowledge of theories associated with R&D management and new product development in start-ups in an essay that covers the key issues associated with new product development and R&D management in start-ups (Assessment 1). Students will further advance their comprehension of the application of new product and service development models by presenting solutions to an R&D related problem faced by a new venture (Assessment 2). In Assessment 3, students will further pitch and defend a new product concept/prototype for a start-up through a presentation and written report.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Analytical Essay

This assessment task consists of a 1500-word analytic essay. This task requires students to evaluate theories associated with R&D management and new product development in start-ups in an essay that critically analyses the key issues associated with new product and service development and R&D management in start-ups. 

A contemporary and real-world/authentic R&D topic will be introduced to students which requires their external research and analysis of the relevant literature and secondary data. In completing the essay students have to use very recent source e.g. journal articles.  

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Analytical Essay

Artefact: Written essay


LO1, LO2 

GA4, GA5, GA8 

Assessment Task 2: Case Study 

This assessment task consists of a 1700-word written case study. This task requires students to analyse concepts and practices relating to R&D and new product development to real-world business situations and in particular, new ventures/start-ups, taking into account social and economic well-being of the stakeholders in R&D management. Where needed students have to use external sources such as recent journal articles. 

Submission Type: Individual

Assessment Method: Case Study

Artefact: Written case study


LO2, LO3 

GA2, GA4, GA5 

Assessment task 3: First Product Pitch and Report 

This assessment task consists of a group presentation along with slides/notes. This task requires students to develop their R&D idea, apply strategic thinking and demonstrate their communication skills and comprehension of new product development and R&D processes in the context of start-ups and new ventures to develop a product pitch. In providing figures, statistics and trends students have to use very recent citations and sources. 

Submission Type: Group

Assessment Method: Product Pitch

Artefact: Pitch notes 


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO5,

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Crawford, C.M. and DiBenedetto, A 2020, New products management, 12th edn, Boston: Irwin/McGraw – Hill Series in Marketing.

Trott, P 2017, Innovation Management and New Product Development, 6th edn. Pearson Education Limited, Essex

Kahn, K.B., 2012. The PDMA handbook of new product development, John Wiley & Sons.

Mohr, J, Sengupta, S & Slater, S 2010, Marketing of high technology products and innovations, 3rd edn. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

Kshetri, N. 2018, Global Entrepreneurship: Environment and Strategy, 2nd edn, Routledge, USA.

Matthews, CH & Brueggeman, R. 2015, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: A Competency Framework, Routledge, USA.

McAdam, M 2014, Female Entrepreneurship, Routledge, USA.

Terziovski, M (ed) 2009, Energizing management through global innovation and entrepreneurship research and practice, Routledge Taylor & Francis, New York.

Tidd, J & Bessant, J 2015, Strategic Innovation Management. John Wiley & Sons, New York.


Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal

Journal of Business Strategy

Journal of Business Venturing

Entrepreneurship Research Journal

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice

European Journal of Innovation Management

Innovation Policy and the Economy

International Journal of Entrepreneurship Theory and Research

Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation

Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Journal of Social Entrepreneurship

Journal of Small Business Management

Journal of Product Innovation Management

Industrial Marketing Management

R&D Management


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