For Japanese firms, the greatest barriers to product innovation are poorly communicated objectives for new products and insufficient attention to product specifications to meet customer requirements, according to a survey by Arthur D. Little, a consulting firm.

The survey - of 701 firms from Japan, Europe, and the United States - also found that lack of skilled leaders is the No. 1 reason hindering product innovation for both European and US firms. Japanese managers, according to the survey, devote more effort to product innovation than their American or European counterparts.

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