This paper examines the etic vs. emic nature of the new product creativity (NPC) construct often used in the strategic marketing and management literatures. The current study compares the NPC measure developed by Im and Workman (2004) in the West in an Eastern context by utilizing data from 172 Malaysian companies. The results show that NPC, which is the combination of new product (NP) novelty and NP meaningfulness, has a different connotation in Malaysia. The findings demonstrate that from the novelty perspective NPC is an emic phenomenon. After the construct validation process, the Western claim that NPC is a seed of firm performance is tested. The results verify NPC's relationship with NP performance as a source of competitive advantage for Malaysian firms and thus suggest that this relationship is etic in nature. These findings have significant implications for firms' global innovation strategies.
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