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Dealing with Uncertainty and Conflicts! Integration in Collaborative R&D Projects
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)In: NFF 2013: On Practice and Knowledge Eruptions, Nordic Academy of Management , 2013, 106-106 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research suggests that by involving suppliers in new product development (NPD) projects, buying firms are likely to obtain better designs, especially in high-tech industries, since no single firm possesses expertise in potentially relevant technologies. However, there are two aspects that are important to consider when setting up the collaboration with a supplier. First, related to the technology is the level of technological uncertainty and second, related to the supplier is the level of conflict of interest. Hence, this paper investigates how firms coordinate with suppliers in NPD depending on the level (high or low)

of these aspects. In total, there are four possible combinations in our model (high-low, high-high, low-lowand low-high). Technological uncertainty involves both uncertainty related to technological trajectories as well as problems related to technological complexity. Following Grandori’s (2001) definition of conflict of interest, low conflict of interest are situations where the partners’ preferences are homogenous or complementary. In contrast, a situation of high conflict of interest has problematic joint decision making and failed communication.The paper is based on multiple cases studies, consisting of four projects and 37 interviews. We used theoretical sampling to identify our projects, to find one project pertaining to each situation in our model. Also, all projects were successful in introducing a product to the market. From our cases we found that coordination varied depending technological uncertainty and conflict of interest. The situations demonstrated: (1) high level of integration, (2) limited integration, (3) medium integration, and (4) limited integration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordic Academy of Management , 2013. 106-106 p.
Keyword [en]
supplier involvement, NPD, coordination, uncertainty, case study
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-98049OAI: diva2:651606
22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Reykjavik, Island, 21-23 August 2013
Available from: 2013-09-26 Created: 2013-09-26 Last updated: 2014-03-24Bibliographically approved

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Melander, LisaTell, Fredrik
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