Front-end activities largely influence the outcomes of new product development processes, because
it is here that firms create new ideas, give them direction, and set theminmotion. We show that the
front end can be understood as comprising three core activities: idea/concept development, idea/
concept alignment, and idea/concept legitimization, which allow firms to create corroborated
product definitions. This article provides important implications for managers interested in frontend
management. It devotes specific attention to the differences between incremental and radical
front-end development and to the front end in the light of increasingly open innovation processes.