Paper info: The Product As A Heterogeneous Resource - Development And Utilisation Of Product Properties In The Network
The Product As A Heterogeneous Resource - Development And Utilisation Of Product Properties In The Network
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 19th IMP-conference in Lugano, Switzerland in 2003.
This paper approaches the issue of product development and management from a network perspective. Instead of viewing the product as a ?given? output of a development process, it is here considered as a resource that is created in interaction in the network. More specifically, it aims at understanding how resources (and the actors controlling them) affect, i.e. contribute and restrict, the design and development of a focal product, regarding both its tangible and intangible properties. Secondly, as network theory suggests that resources both have a provision side and a utilisation side, it is also asked how the product in its turn affects and is being utilised by the network. With this general theoretical background as a starting point, this paper examines how the properties of a product that is developed in one context, are being utilised in another and what are the consequences of this for product development and management. In other words, to what extent does the network manage to make use of the properties that have been developed to provide value, or does the new context imply that new, unexpected properties emerge or become emphasised in the product, allowing the product to become valuable in a way that could not be foreseen when the product was initially developed. After a brief presentation of the conceptual foundations of resource embeddedness, some early findings from a forthcoming case study from the furniture industry are presented. In the light of this empirical material it is discussed how a product exhibits different properties when being connected to other resources and how the product itself can be utilised as a resource by the network in which it is embedded.