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The study explores the tradeoff between efforts to benchmark on product-development practices and be customer focused in the implementation of a quality-improvement method. The results of a survey of thirty-three firms' experience with quality function deployment (QFD) reveal that benchmarking on how competitors, peers, or role models develop products facilitates process improvement but hinders customer focus. Smaller firms are also shown to gain more customer focus and process-improvement benefits from QFD than larger firms.


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© Springer. Final version published as: Ettlie, J. E., & Johnson, M. D. (1995). Product development benchmarking versus customer focus in applications of quality function deployment. Marketing Letters, 5(2), 107-116. doi:10.1007/BF00994101
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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