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In pursuit of control: involving suppliers of critical technologies in new product development
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5427-3560
2014 (English)In: Supply chain management, ISSN 1359-8546, E-ISSN 1758-6852, Vol. 19, no 5-6, 722-732 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore the dynamics of management and control in collaborations with suppliers of critical technology.

Design/methodology/approach – Three collaborative product development projects at a system integrator in the Telecom industry were studied. The data was collected through 22 semi-structured interviews and a workshop at the studied company and its suppliers.

Findings – The paper shows that in situations of high dependence on suppliers of critical technologies, control may be pursued by complementing black box development with appropriate checks and balances in the collaboration, i.e. by using combinations of control mechanisms, disconnected development and joint problem solving, contracts and trust, and alignment efforts on project and strategic levels. Further, the paper demonstrates that this involves several trade-offs related to the advantages of increased monitoring and disadvantages of decreased levels of freedom for the supplier and consequently decreased prerequisites for supplier creativity.

Research limitations/implications – The qualitative approach of the research limits generalizability. Our study is limited to three projects at one firm.

Practical implications – Technological roadmaps can be used as an important tool to facilitate alignment with suppliers of critical technologies. Limited influence on project level can be supported by influencing the supplier on a strategic level. By collaborating on a strategic level, firms can gain alignment for future projects and diminish the need for direct project control within the projects. Long-term collaborations facilitate control in projects with powerful suppliers of critical technologies.

Originality/value – While many studies suggest simplified responses to complex situations of supplier involvement in product development, this study provides insight into the complex responses to control suppliers of critical technologies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2014. Vol. 19, no 5-6, 722-732 p.
Keyword [en]
New product development, Supplier involvement, Control, Goal alignment
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103938DOI: 10.1108/SCM-01-2014-0040ISI: 000345150800014OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-103938DiVA: diva2:693241
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supplier Involvement in New Product Development under Technological Uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supplier Involvement in New Product Development under Technological Uncertainty
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses the challenges that firms are faced with when collaborating with suppliers in new product development (NPD) projects under technological uncertainty. A critical observation that is made in this context is that technologies are evolving faster, making products more complex. At the same time, firms become more specialized. Due to increased complexity and specialization, firms do not possess all the necessary technologies in-house and therefore need to collaborate with external organisations to incorporate new technology into their products. Common collaborators are suppliers who become integrated into the buying firm’s NPD project. However, finding suppliers and collaborating with suppliers in NPD can be problematic. In addition, external collaborations also impact the buying firm internally, since it often needs to coordinate its departments. The purpose of this thesis is to explore supplier involvement in NPD under technological uncertainty. Challenges in supplier selection are concerned with the issues of involving new suppliers or relying on old acquaintances, managing uncertainties, the dilemma of whether to commit to long-term relationships or to maintain flexibility, and deciding on which department that is responsible for evaluating and selecting the supplier. The present study of buyers and suppliers in NPD, shows the challenges that are involved in balancing control, reaching goal alignment, and managing transactional and relational governance. Internal challenges investigate the coordination between the R&D department and purchasing in NPD projects where suppliers are involved. The present findings may be of value for firms who engage in collaborative NPD, or for firms who aim to involve suppliers in their development of new products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 102 + Appendices p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1568
Keyword
New product development, supplier involvement, collaborative R&D, technological uncertainty, supplier selection, buyer-supplier collaboration, coordination, R&D, purchasing, project
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103943 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-103943 (DOI)978-91-7519-416-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-07, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved
2. Buyer-Supplier Innovation: Managing Supplier Knowledge in Collaborative Innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Buyer-Supplier Innovation: Managing Supplier Knowledge in Collaborative Innovation
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 98 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1726
National Category
Business Administration Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122506 (URN)978-91-7685-893-6 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Note

As David Rosell’s dissertation represents all parts; the articles are finalized, onlya quite limited amount of work remained on the extended summary, and it can beconsidered as a thorough academic work, we (his main advisor AssociateProfessor Nicolette Lakemond and second advisor Assistant Professor CeciliaEnberg) have decided to publish the dissertation in order to make it available tothe research community. The dissertation has not been defended and is notapproved posthumous but only published making it available for the researchcommunity.

Available from: 2015-11-06 Created: 2015-11-06 Last updated: 2015-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Melander, LisaRosell, DavidLakemond, Nicolette

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