Knowledge Integration in Development of Complex Systems: what Suppliers Actually Do to Integrate with Buyers?
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The importance of internal integration for effective inter-firm collaboration with suppliers has been acknowledged, however it is unclear how internal integration is achieved in complex product development projects. This paper investigates how internal integration takes place and explores related project management challenges. Three internal integration approaches are found: integration based on multidirectional, frequent interaction; based on delimited, problem-solving teams; and based on unidirectional, information-oriented interaction. The paper shows that internal integration approaches are related to the degree of uncertainty in the subsystems of the suppliers rather than the overall product system. Consequently, in complex product development projects with several different suppliers involved, the specific supplier task rather than the overall project task determines internal integration in the project. This creates important challenges for organisation, and requires flexibility in internal integration approaches.
Internal integration; Supplier involvement; Task uncertainty; Collaborative projects; Subsystem; Case study
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-106335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-106335DiVA: diva2:715497