Stimuli of Collaboration in Product Development: A Case Study in a Project Manufacturing Company

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Abstract

There is already a wide acceptance on the importance of involving supplier and customer companies in product development. Decent understanding prevails on the relationship-oriented approach to product development including various collaboration forms. However, there is less research on the factors explaining the decision of attending to joint product development. In addition, less studies have examined the integrated role of both suppliers and customers in product development initiatives. This study searches answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the role of different actors in product development initiatives? 2. What factors motivate suppliers and customers to participate in product development? The research is carried out as an in-depth qualitative single case study in a large project manufacturing company. It takes the perspective of a focal company striving for product improvements. The first part of the empirical study consists of 15 semi-structured interviews. The second part includes two discursive workshops and builds upon the results of the interviews. This study contributes to the existing research by explaining the challenges and conditions facilitating joint product development with supplier and purchaser companies. The results highlight the role of customers in improving the effectiveness of product development. As a practical contribution, the paper reports the application of workshop method as a facilitator of collaboration between supplier, purchaser (focal company) and customer companies.

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Management and Production Engineering Review

The Journal of Production Engineering Committee of Polish Academy of Sciences and Polish Association for Production Management

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CiteScore 2016: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.126
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.551

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