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Creativity And New Product Development: Working With Virtual Teams

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Building Cross-Disciplinary Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.343.1 - 8.343.8



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Paper Authors

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Larry Richards

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Creativity and New Product Development: Working with Virtual Teams

Larry G. Richards

University of Virginia, 209B Mechanical Engineering Building, P.O. Box 400746, 122 Engineer’s Way, Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4746; Phone: 434 924 3191; fax 434 924 7674; e-mail:

Abstract For several years, a course on Creativity and New Product Development (C&NPD) has been offered at the University of Virginia. Two different delivery modes have been used: a traditional on-campus class and the distance-learning mode. The course has been taught twice in our academic outreach program. These two offerings were quite different from each other, and both differ from the experience of more traditional classes. In each class, student teams develop a new product concept, prototype it, create a business and marketing plan, and produce a patent application and a funding proposal.

Last semester, I taught C&NPD in distance learning mode with 12 on-grounds students, and 12 off-grounds. The off-grounds students were all engineers working full-time in industry. The on-grounds students included both undergraduates and grad students. We assembled teams so that most teams had at least one member at a remote site. One class each week was delivered in the asynchronous mode (as streaming video on the internet), while the other was conducted in real time (as a live television broadcast with two way video capability). Throughout the semester, we did extensive evaluation of team and individual performance, as well as assessing the class itself and student reactions to it. In this paper, we provide an overview of the course, present some of the assessment results, and review the lessons learned: what worked, what didn’t?

Introduction A course on Creativity and New Product Development has been taught at the University of Virginia since 1995. Henry Bolanos and Dave Lewis developed the original version of this course. Henry is an independent inventor and has founded several businesses; Dave worked for IBM before joining the faculty of the University of Virginia. He owns a small business and holds several patents. They proposed a course that would teach the new product development process by simulating it in class. Student teams would come up with ideas for new products, design and prototype a concept, develop a bill of materials and manufacturing plan, and prepare a financial analysis, a marketing strategy, and a business plan. Each teams’ final presentation for the course would be a briefing to a group of venture capitalists - appealing for funding for their new company. Each team was also expected to submit a disclosure document or provisional patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. When I assumed responsibility for this course in 1998, I sought to maintain its original vision while introducing some new topics and approaches.

Richards, L. (2003, June), Creativity And New Product Development: Working With Virtual Teams Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11783

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