The enabling conditions of complex adaptive systems (CAS), such as context and emergence, for firm product innovativeness have rarely been addressed in the new product development (NPD) literature. In this study, we empirically investigated how emergence, which is a process involving coordinated actions and interdependency, influences firm product innovativeness. We also examined the role that the CAS context, involving networks of interaction, conflicting constraints, patterns of tension, dynamic rules of action, dynamic feedback, and changing environmental demands variables, plays in emergence and firm product innovativeness. By studying 235 firms, we found that (a) emergence variables positively influence firm product innovativeness, (b) different context variables have positive, negative, and nonlinear impacts on different emergence-related variables, and (c) emergence variables partially mediate the relationship between the CAS context and firm product innovativeness. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.