توسعه محصول با شرکای متعدد : استراتژی ها و تضادها در شبکه ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2790||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9974 کلمه|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 41, Issue 3, April 2012, Pages 438–447
This paper provides an insight into and discusses the variety of sources of conflict in linking multiple partners in a network to the product development process. Conflict issues are discussed in relation to focal company strategies for product development within networks. On the basis of three case studies representing three different strategic intentions and network situations, our findings suggest that the sources of conflict are related to the actors' definition and negotiation of the development task at hand. The study suggests that the ability to combine and find complementarities in the strategic intentions of the multiple participating actors is essential to accomplish innovation. The paper concludes that influential actors initiating or acceding to changes are crucial for reaching a positive outcome in joint product development.
Interacting with multiple partners in networks is often seen to be the key to successful product development, for networks provide sources for new innovative ideas, as well as access to the specialized knowledge of partners (Hakansson, 1989, Powell et al., 1996 and Ritter and Walter, 2003). Product development with multiple partners is seen today to be the most common way of working in supply networks. However, facilitating cooperation between multiple partners is not an easy task to accomplish. We still do not know enough about product development cooperation in different kinds of networks, the challenges in these networks and how to solve the conflict that arises. Conflict is often related to multiple customers having varying needs and requirements. Therefore, the firm will have to weigh up the different demands of these when innovating. Conflict may arise when multiple development partners, intermediary companies and suppliers impose their special requirements on the product development process. Different network relationships may be the basis of current operations and developments, but they can also restrict product development, leading to conflict (Ritter & Ford, 2004). An innovative company seeking to build a product development strategy in the network faces the challenge of linking multiple customers, suppliers and partners in the network to the product development process. Due to interdependencies inherent within a joint development effort, single actors seldom act in line with their own strategic intentions for product development (Ford and Hakansson, 2005 and Hakansson, 1982). Instead, a combination of mutually compatible strategic intentions for product development across partners becomes central. In the network, the willingness to adapt and adjust will vary between partners and conflict may arise when one actor tries to lead the joint development effort (Ford and Mouzas, 2007 and Wilkinson and Young, 2005). Based on the above discussion, the following research questions are proposed: Which sources of conflict can be observed when linking multiple actors to the product development process? How do these conflicts influence a company's strategies for product development in networks? This research aims to contribute to our knowledge of the challenges related to product development with multiple partners. Whereas existing research has taught us the many benefits found in co-operation, we know less of the conflicts arising when actors seek to facilitate cooperation. The empirical basis of this article consists of a multiple case study of companies in the food industry, the construction industry and the energy sector. The focal companies each sought to link with multiple partners in their product development processes. The cases exemplify three different product development strategies: (1) changing existing relationships; (2) building new relationships; and (3) changing network position. Depending on the required changes in process and structure, the innovative effort may encompass different sources of conflict between the innovating actors. The contribution that this paper makes is to study and outline the sources of conflict in networks associated with the product development strategy of the actor firms within these networks. The paper is structured as follows. The first section introduces the theoretical basis for discussing the actors' product development strategies in networks and the potential conflicts encountered. The second section outlines the methodology associated with conducting the multiple case studies that are presented in Section 3. The following sections provide the case analyses and discussions, while the conclusions and issues for further research conclude the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The outlined conflict issues illustrate the variety of strategic intents and views of the surrounding network of involved business actors in each case. This is in line with existing research, suggesting that joint product development effort leads to actors facing choices of when to lead and when to follow (Ford & Mouzas, 2007) and when to negotiate or even comply with the strategic intent of a counterpart (Kragh and Andersen, 2009 and Öberg, 2010). This paper contributes to this knowledge by adding empirical evidence on how to deal with and analyze conflict in networks. The paper outlines how conflicts related to linking multiple partners to the product development process may influence the strategies of companies. Even if networks are significant sources and enablers of product development, a company may encounter conflict in its attempts to link multiple partners to the product development process. In this paper, we have identified the following sources of conflict: conflict issues may pertain to the willingness of actors to engage in change and to the lack of communication and degree of mutual understanding of and insights into each others' businesses. Our study further suggests that conflict in networks may be related to relational as well as internal issues. The latter is comparable to the work of Öberg (2010), signifying the need for emphasizing an organizational level of analysis in network strategy research. Furthermore, we conclude that the intensity of conflict in networks can be related to the actors' perception of network positions. Different perceptions may lead to different opinions on how and by whom product developments in the network should be facilitated. Based on our study of conflict in networks, we can also draw implications for company strategies. The formulation of strategies for product development in networks is a continuing process, not only related to issues of intended and realized strategy (Mintzberg & Waters, 1985). Instead, company strategies for product development in networks are also a negotiated process and a process of adjustment (Kragh & Andersen, 2009). Whereas Öberg (2010), claims that reaching convergence in strategies is necessary for success, our research suggests that complementarities in strategic goals are sufficient. However, this is not to say that partners need uniform strategic intentions, but rather a willingness to accompany each other on an overall joint goal. If actors have different views on the joint product development effort, based on differences in their strategic intentions, this will create conflict and potentially hinder product development when the partners do not succeed in reaching some kind of complementarity in their strategic intentions. This may lead companies to change or even abandon their strategic intentions. The study also shows that companies may utilize relationships as temporary devices for developing their own strategic intentions. In this sense, utilizing relationships and following the lead of others may create positions to lead. A final implication to highlight is whether influential and dominating actors may hinder or facilitate product development in networks. Our study confirms how leading companies – whether classified as hubs, brokers or facilitators – may have a positive or negative impact on the joint development effort in the network. From the cases, we learn that when OTZ cannot convince the larger and more influential Euretail to participate in the joint development effort, OTZ fails to change the existing processes as intended. However, when the strategic intentions of multiple partners are complementary and a larger, influential company initiates the joint effort, changes may be attained — as in the case of DONG Energy. Essentially, DONG Energy manages to create new relationships and a basis for changing existing processes. This study contributes with insights into the way in which the absence of a lead company may result in no changes at all, as in the case of HP3. However, it seems that it is not only a question of power and dominance. This study suggests that the ability to create combined and complementary strategic intentions are a key issue. It seems that in most cases, the conflict stems from the way in which the parties define, negotiate and mobilize their joint product development effort. In order to lead the product development effort, the company needs to strategize across an intra-organizational and inter-organizational level. However, it is vital to state that our study does not suggest that conflict in networks should be avoided. Indeed, conflicts may be a significant element in promoting innovation (Gadde & Hakansson, 1993) and can be a vital ingredient and source for actually developing new products. Whether the interacting partners build trust, allowing them to express their conflicting views and perception of value (Hakansson et al., 2009), is an essential issue in relation to exploiting conflict in networks for product development. The purpose is not to escape conflicts or search for the absence of conflict, but rather to provide a base for understanding and dealing with conflict and the related reactions of the actors in a wider network context. Based on the present study, we conclude that such an understanding plays a vital role for negotiating and adapting a company's strategic intentions for product development in networks. 8.1. Limitations and issues for further research At least two limitations apply to our study. Firstly, based on our study, we cannot conclude that conflict and disjoint aims make it impossible to drive change in networks. On the contrary, conflict may be a very important element in achieving change. A longitudinal study covering a longer time period may indeed be warranted for studying the long-term strategic effort in linking multiple partners to the product development process, for creating changes in networks, as well as managing the potential conflict (Harrison et al., 2010). Secondly, the degree to which the focal case companies succeed in achieving change may also be related to the degree of maturity in the networks and industries. Whereas the construction industry and the food industry in Denmark can be considered rather mature and traditional, the energy sector is characterized by a greater willingness and desire to change — partly because of the recent focus on climate and environmental issues.