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Management and evaluations of collaborative R&D-projects: the paradox of long-term relationships
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
2007 (English)In: The Future of Nordic Business Schools: 19th Nordic Academy of Management Conference, 2007Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To be in the frontier in highly competitive and capital intensive businesses collaborative R&D-projects between companies and their customers have become important. Such projects expect to bring forth competitive advantages. However, previous studies indicate that there are difficulties in managing and evaluating collaborative R&D-projects. Therefore, the purpose with the paper is to increase the understanding about management and evaluations of values in collaborative R&D-projects. The present paper addresses the following questions: 1. How are collaborative R&D-projects managed? 2. What values are generated through the exchange between the companies? 3. How are collaborative R&D-projects evaluated? In this paper, we have conducted an exploratory single case study in the process industry, on a big Swedish company and one of their customers. The empirical findings are based on interviews, internal documents and publicly available information. Inductive patterns identified in the empirical material led to further analyses from the theoretical perspectives of Customer relationship management (CRM), Social exchange theory (SET) and Intellectual capital (IC).Findings from the study indicate that the company's strategy for creating competitive advantages is to build up-on long-term customer relationships through the collaborative R&D-projects. Management of, exchange of and values created through relationship are central for such a strategy. The careful management of customers is in accordance with the theory of CRM. The company's focus on long-term relationships tended to influence the exchange in the R&D-project. T he outcome of the project was negative, a failure. When evaluating the project focus was on measuring soft values instead of the hard values based on the negative output. The social exchange, central for the company's management of the customer relationship that generated values in form of a relational capital, seemed more important than the economic exchange. The concluding remarks of this paper lead to a paradox. Companies' long-term strategy of building relational capital for ensuring economic values tends to result in the neglecting of measuring hard economic values. This may in the long-run damage the customer relationship since the main purpose with the collaborative R&D-project is to generate competitive advantages in terms of economic values.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Accounting and Control
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-40361Local ID: f72f7bd0-6aa3-11dc-9e58-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:1013883
Nordic Academy of Management Conference : On Practice and Knowledge Eruptions 21/08/2013 - 23/08/2013
Godkänd; 2007; 20070924 (monika_k)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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Kurkkio, MonikaJohansson, Jeaneth
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