Document Type


Publication Date



John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


Distributed product development is becoming increasingly prevalent in a number of industries. We study how the global distribution of product development impacts the profit-maximizing product line that a firm offers. Specifically, we formulate a model to understand the linkage between cost arbitrage as a driver of distributed development and consequent market implications such as customer perceived quality loss to remotely developed products. Analysis of the model reveals that a firm should expand the product line for a development-intensive good only at intermediate values of cost advantage and quality loss. We modify the base model to include development capacity constraints as a driver of distributed development and find that the results are robust to this change. Our analysis affirms the need for product managers to incorporate the implications of distributed development in making their product line design decision.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Bala, Ram, V. Krishnan, and Wenge Zhu. "Distributed Development and Product Line Decisions." Production and Operations Management 23.6 (2013): 1057-066., which has been published in final form at doi:10.1111/poms.12185. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.