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Lead user in process industry: in the case of four Swedish producers in process industry
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There is a quite comprehensive research base on Lead Users as an important source in New Product Development (NPD) processes in Other Manufacturing Industries. Companies in Process Industry have an increasing interest in learning how to leverage the involvement of externals in their development processes, especially in the NPD, for commercial advantages. More and deeper knowledge on Lead Users are needed to inform and guide these efforts. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate the contribution of Lead Users to development processes in Swedish Process Industry. In order to accomplish this, this study examines four leading Swedish producers in Process Industry with the following goals: (i) identifying the contribution of Lead Users to product and process development in Process Industry (ii) describing the characteristics of Lead Users in Process Industry and (iii) presenting the influence of Lead User involvement on the organizational structure of a company. The main conclusion that can be drawn from this investigation is that Lead User do contribute to product and process development projects in Process Industry. In NPD mainly special ”selected” customers serve as Lead Users whereas in the process development projects it is the suppliers. This thesis also confirms the two key component variables, namely the high need to innovate and the high motivation to innovate. Both components contribute to identifying commercially attractive users. Furthermore, in accordance with literature, the study found that Lead Users are motivated intrinsically and have access to local resources. Yet, it was established that Lead Users in Process Industry do not develop their own products and that they need special manufacturing and technological knowledge in order to get involved. Nowadays, the organizational structure is more customer orientated. Cross functional teams as well as the customers are involved in development processes. However, the process of making permanent changes to established routines is time and cost consuming and will only be succssfull with a high support from the management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Lead User, Process Industry, New Product Development
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-55348ISRN: LTU-EX--07/172--SELocal ID: c39ebc89-4407-4cb6-b5d4-df4247d83b46OAI: diva2:1028730
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial and Management Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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