Knowledge integration with customers in collaborative product development projects
2016 (English)In: The journal of business & industrial marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, E-ISSN 2052-1189, Vol. 31, no 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose This paper addresses the need for managerial and organizational approaches to knowledge integration with customer in collaborative product development projects. The purpose is to identify the roles of customers in terms of the customerï¿œs knowledge contribution and timing of customer collaboration in the product development process. Design/methodology/approach This study is based on a multi-case study approach, comprising four product development projects from two large international suppliers. The cases were selected following the theoretical replication logic. Data consist of interviews, workshops, and secondary information. For each of the cases, a within case analysis was performed followed by a cross-case analysis. Findings The study shows that the customerï¿œs knowledge contribution is aligned with the specific requirements of each phase of the product development. Three specific customer roles are identified and connected to the customerï¿œs knowledge contribution and the timing of customer collaboration. The technical capability of the customer and the locus of initiative of the product development project are affecting the prerequisites for knowledge integration with customers. Research limitations/implications The study is performed from the perspective of supplier firms. We have not been able to capture the perspective of the customer in detail. As it is expected that both customers and suppliers benefit from a systematic knowledge exchange, future studies could examine knowledge contributions in both directions. Practical implications The findings can be used to devise effective approaches for collaborative product development with customers related to the customerï¿œs knowledge contribution and the timing of customer collaboration and provide guidance to firms seeking to benefit from knowledge residing at customers. Originality/value This is one of the first studies to focus on the integration of customersï¿œ knowledge in product development processes. This paper contributes to the customerï¿œsupplier collaboration literature by presenting further insight into customersï¿œ knowledge contributions, the timing of customer collaboration in product development processes and the prerequisites for knowledge integration with customers.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 31, no 7
Economics Economics and Business
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130858DOI: 10.1108/JBIM-05-2014-0099OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-130858DiVA: diva2:956029