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To evaluate or to use past experience?: Collecting information for supplier selection under technological uncertainty in new product development projects
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project management, Innovations and Entrepreneurship .
2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Increasingly, firms involve external companies in the innovation process to integrate new technology. However, under technological uncertainty, it may not be obvious which will be the most suitable technology to incorporate. Few studies have investigated how technological uncertainty affects firms’ supplier selection for new product development (NPD). Hence, this paper aims to investigate how firms select suppliers for collaborative NPD under varied levels of technological uncertainty. This research is based on seven case studies in which 53 interviews were conducted. Two strategies for supplier selection under technological uncertainty are discussed. These are based on an evaluation of: (i) the supplier’s present situation and (ii) previous experience. The findings show that technological capabilities were an important criterion in the assessment of suppliers both in projects with low and high technological uncertainty. Moreover, in projects with high technological uncertainty, relational capabilities were also important.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Product development; supplier involvement; supplier selection; technological uncertainty; information asymmetry; case studies
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103940OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-103940DiVA: diva2:693243
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-25Bibliographically 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

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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