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Paper info: MANAGING NETWORKS OF SUPPLIER AND CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION: INITIAL CASE STUDY FINDINGS

Title


MANAGING NETWORKS OF SUPPLIER AND CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION: INITIAL CASE STUDY FINDINGS

Authors


David Ford
University of Bath
United Kingdom
David Ford and
Thomas Johnsen
0
Italy
Thomas Johnsen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.

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Abstract


This paper concerns the problem of how companies, who seek to develop newtechnology, can successfully capitalise on the whole pool of resources and technologiesavailable within their network, whilst at the same time cope with the problem of loss ofcontrol of knowledge and technologies to other parties in their network. Taking pointof departure from their previous conceptual and empirical work (e.g. Johnsen and Ford,1999; 2000), the authors begin by briefly introducing the conceptual framework, andits theoretical foundation, forming the basis of the case studies. This frameworkincludes a set of ?collaboration activities? that are reported in major bodies of empiricalwork to be key to managing both customer and supplier collaboration.The paper reports the initial findings from the first of four in-depth case studies ofcollaborative innovation in networks. This section includes an outline of the overallproject methodology and elaborates on some methodological problems experiencedduring the facilitation process of the cases studies; this section also discusses the stepsthat were taken to overcome the problems. The first case centres on an automotive fueltank supplier (whose name cannot be revealed for confidentiality reasons) and itsdevelopment project of a new fuel tank in which a new fuel tank technology has beenapplied. Initial analysis of the case study interviews, reveals the different perceptionsof the set of collaboration activities during the project and how the complex network inwhich the actors operate simultaneously enabled and constrained each activity indifferent ways and to different degrees.