Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An outsourcing model for lead users: An empirical investigation

Al Zu’bi, Z.; Tsinopoulos, C.

An outsourcing model for lead users: An empirical investigation Thumbnail


Z. Al Zu’bi

C. Tsinopoulos


Product development costs have been increasing constantly over the past few decades. Outsourcing some or all of the new product development (NPD) activities to external parties is increasingly becoming a popular option in the quest to reduce costs. Lead users (LUs), a special group of users that experience needs earlier than the public, have been identified as an important source of innovative ideas. In this article, we explore and compare the cost impact of outsourcing activities to LUs relative to in-house NPD. Using survey data from 376 European manufacturers, we show that LUs’ impact on cost reduction is higher than that achieved through higher performing in-house NPD teams. The unique attributes of LUs make them a favourable outsourcing partner of NPD activity that can help reduce costs whilst increasing an organisation's innovative ability. The reduction in costs is a combination of the information sharing benefits achieved through in-house NPD and the outsourcing of NPD activities to LUs.


Al Zu’bi, Z., & Tsinopoulos, C. (2013). An outsourcing model for lead users: An empirical investigation. Production Planning and Control, 24(4-5), 337-346.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2011
Online Publication Date Jan 31, 2012
Publication Date Apr 1, 2013
Deposit Date May 3, 2011
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2014
Journal Production Planning and Control
Print ISSN 0953-7287
Electronic ISSN 1366-5871
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 4-5
Pages 337-346
Keywords Outsourcing, In-house new product development, Lead users, New product development costs.
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (198 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an electronic version of an article published in Al Zu&rsquo;bi, Z. and Tsinopoulos, C. (2013) &#039;An outsourcing model for lead users : an empirical investigation.&#039;, Production planning and control., 4-5: 337-346.<br /> Production planning and control is available online at:;issn=0953-7287&amp;volume=24&amp;issue=4-5&amp;spage=337

You might also like

Downloadable Citations