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Variation of purchasing's involvement: case studies of supplier collaborations in new product development
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5427-3560
2014 (English)In: International Journal of procurement management, ISSN 1753-8432, E-ISSN 1753-8440, Vol. 7, no 1, 103-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Firms are increasingly involving suppliers in new product development (NPD) and one reason for this is to access technological knowledge. Previous research argues that purchasing fulfils an important role in involving the suppliers in NPD. However, purchasing's role under technological uncertainty has not been investigated in detail. The purpose of this paper is to explore purchasing's role in technology selection, supplier selection and level of participation in NPD projects involving suppliers. Three NPD projects at one large high-tech firm are studied. The results show that purchasing has limited influence in the technology selection process, but fulfils an important role in the selection of the supplier and has a role as a trouble-shooter throughout the collaborative NPD projects. Purchasing does not necessarily need to be involved in solving daily, routine problems, but serves as a trouble-shooter to solve problems related to the supplier's strategy, the relationship with the supplier, and commitment issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 1, 103-118 p.
Keyword [en]
Purchasing; new product development; NPD; supplier management; technology selection; supplier selection; case studies
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103935DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2014.057877Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84894213662OAI: diva2:693238
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supplier Involvement in New Product Development under Technological Uncertainty
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supplier Involvement in New Product Development under Technological Uncertainty
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses the challenges that firms are faced with when collaborating with suppliers in new product development (NPD) projects under technological uncertainty. A critical observation that is made in this context is that technologies are evolving faster, making products more complex. At the same time, firms become more specialized. Due to increased complexity and specialization, firms do not possess all the necessary technologies in-house and therefore need to collaborate with external organisations to incorporate new technology into their products. Common collaborators are suppliers who become integrated into the buying firm’s NPD project. However, finding suppliers and collaborating with suppliers in NPD can be problematic. In addition, external collaborations also impact the buying firm internally, since it often needs to coordinate its departments. The purpose of this thesis is to explore supplier involvement in NPD under technological uncertainty. Challenges in supplier selection are concerned with the issues of involving new suppliers or relying on old acquaintances, managing uncertainties, the dilemma of whether to commit to long-term relationships or to maintain flexibility, and deciding on which department that is responsible for evaluating and selecting the supplier. The present study of buyers and suppliers in NPD, shows the challenges that are involved in balancing control, reaching goal alignment, and managing transactional and relational governance. Internal challenges investigate the coordination between the R&D department and purchasing in NPD projects where suppliers are involved. The present findings may be of value for firms who engage in collaborative NPD, or for firms who aim to involve suppliers in their development of new products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 102 + Appendices p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1568
New product development, supplier involvement, collaborative R&D, technological uncertainty, supplier selection, buyer-supplier collaboration, coordination, R&D, purchasing, project
National Category
Economics and Business
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-103943 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-103943 (DOI)978-91-7519-416-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-03-07, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-02-04 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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