Social media and the new product development during COVID-19: An integrated model for SMEs

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Despite Multinational Enterprises’ growing interest in New Product Development (NPD), research into the use of social media in the NPD process in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) is lacking. In response, we propose and test an integrated model of the NPD process using social media. Data was collected from SMEs across industry sectors in India during the COVID-19 pandemic. This research applies structural equation modeling (SEM) to achieve a detailed understanding of the issue. The findings reveal that Integrated Social Media Interaction (ISMI) depends on Customer-Centric Focus (CCF), Customer Engagement Focus (CEF), and Customer Empathy Focus (CEmF). Based on the literature and our analytical research, it is revealed that the use of social media networks as a source of knowledge for NPD ventures is a systematic component of the NPD process for SMEs during the COVOD-19 pandemic. To support their NPD initiatives, SMEs may depend on this hypothesized integrated model. The analysis concludes with SME managers' realistic and managerial guidance. This study provides useful insights for managers who wish to enhance NPD activities for SMEs through social media, and offers useful guidance to SMEs and innovation scholars, encouraging further research in this area.

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Technological Forecasting and Social Change



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