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Creating customer value through knowledge integration: How internal stakeholders can be involved in the product development process
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The increasing globalisation of the market is followed by increased competition between organisations. Therefore it becomes more important to create products with high customer value. To be able to create customer value, deep understanding of the customers’ needs must be obtained by employees, shared between them and transformed into products. Further consequences of globalisation are increasing differences between customers’ needs, which results in demand for customisable and flexible products.The purpose of this study was to analyse how organisations can create more customer value through increased knowledge integration. The focus was on how knowledge that already resides within a globally dispersed organisation can be integrated during the product development process.This study showed that customer value is created throughout the product development process by integrating the knowledge held by R&D and internal stakeholders. Different types of value are created at different phases in the product development process. One important finding is that different parts of the augmented value are created throughout the entire product development process. Since employees obtain different knowledge depending on which customer they interact with, it is important to utilise knowledge from a large number of employees with different roles and in different countries. Hence, the significance of knowledge integration must be disseminated and understood across the organisation. After completing the product development process additional customer value is created by the internal stakeholders’ who sell and implement the product, but it is during the product development process that the basis for their value creation is established.Knowledge needs to be integrated in a formalised, repeatable way, so that the R&D department can ensure that the right product is developed at the right time. Integration means that the tacit knowledge that resides within one employee is codified into an explicit form that can be exploited by more employees. Therefore, four steps must be performed and repeated iteratively to create and spread knowledge throughout the organisation. The first step includes communication by exchanging tacit knowledge. The second step entails documenting the knowledge, and the third step involves combining the knowledge residing in the organisations into one common knowledge system. The final step includes distributing the knowledge so that it recievess wide attention within the organisation. Several factors that have a negative impact on these four steps, and knowledge integration, need to be countered somehow. However, it was found that there are several mechanisms that facilitate knowledge integration, and most often the presence of several mechanisms at the same time had a better effect.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
Customer value, Knowledge creation, Knowledge integration, Common knowledge, Organisational structure, Social capital
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120018ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A—15/02282—SEOAI: diva2:839697
External cooperation
Subject / course
Master's Program in Management of Innovation and Product Development
2015-06-12, 3C:817, Linköping, 18:41 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-07-16 Created: 2015-07-03 Last updated: 2015-07-16Bibliographically approved

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Alenvret, CarolineEvaldsson, Johannes
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