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Bridging Geographically Distant R&D and Manufacturing
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3361-6835
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2014 (English)In: Proceedings of the R&D Management Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, 3–6 June 2014., 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Although important research has been carried out, knowledge on bridges between the R&D and manufacturing occupational communities in a cross - national context is lacking. Much of the research has emphasized on the different bridges - tools, object, practices, brokers designed by the company to bridge the occupational communities. To lesser extent scholars have observed the emergence of individuals who can assist in bridging occupational communities divided by the boundaries of language and national culture.

Drawing on qualitative interviews with persons belonging to a Swedish large manufacturing company, this paper describes and examines the emergent role of an engineer from an R&D center in China as a mediator of the two occupational communities. Based on community of practice theory, this study regards R&D in Sweden and the manufacturing site in China as members of two interdependent occupational communities that struggle to communicate due to barriers created by geographical distance – i.e. language and cultural distance. The findings suggest that the mediator from the R&D center in China may serve as an appropriate organizational solution in situation where geographical distance exist. The mediator role provides not only technical support, but also helps to crate shared meanings and facilitates the communication between R&D in Sweden and the manufacturing site in China. This study contributes to the R&D management theory by addressing an effective way to facilitate cross-cultural communication between engineers that are geographically distant during new product development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keywords [en]
R&D, manufacturing, geographic distance, occupational communities, cross - culture, Sweden, China
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28831OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-28831DiVA, id: diva2:890125
Conference
R&D Management Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, 3–6 June 2014.
Projects
Distributed Innovation Projects: Management of Technological and Organizational Challenges in Distributed Settings (DINO)
Funder
VINNOVAAvailable from: 2015-12-30 Created: 2015-12-30 Last updated: 2019-08-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Integration in global development projects: A study of new product development and production relocation projects
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration in global development projects: A study of new product development and production relocation projects
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In today’s constantly changing environment globalization offers opportunities as well as threats to manufacturing companies. One trend in industry is that to meet customer demands and global competition, manufacturing companies need to frequently introduce new products to the market at the right time and cost. Another trend is that manufacturing companies relocate their production sites abroad. Therefore, in this thesis the context is global development projects, which includes both new product development and production relocation projects. The global dimension implies that team members are located in different countries. Integration between team members, which in this thesis refers to interaction processes involving information exchange on the one hand and collaboration or cooperation on the other, is therefore a challenge.

Even if much research exists with regard to integration, integration across national borders in global development projects has not been addressed to a greater extent. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to expand the analysis of integration in global development projects in order to gain insights regarding the use of different integration mechanisms. The thesis specifically addresses the influence of national cultural and linguistic differences on integration as well as the use of various integration mechanisms. The results originate from one longitudinal case study of a global new product development project and two retrospective case studies including global new product development and production relocation projects.

In general, it is concluded that in global development projects national cultural and linguistic differences amplify integration difficulties among project team members who belong to different functions. The comparison of the three global development projects indicated that some of the integration mechanisms worked and were used to integrate team members from different functions, while others did not work as intended. Therefore, this thesis argues that there is a need for a diverse set of integration mechanisms that depend on the context of a global development project and specifically on national cultural and linguistic differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2016. p. 75
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 14
Keywords
integration, national culture, linguistic differences, new product development, production relocation
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29337 (URN)978-91-87289-15-6 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
2. Management of the industrialisation process in distributed geographical and organisational contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Management of the industrialisation process in distributed geographical and organisational contexts
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Management of new product development (NPD) is one of the most critical capabilities of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The industrialisation process plays a major role in NPD, where the final verification of the product and production system takes place. It is during the industrialisation process that various disturbances arise; if these are not managed, they can delay the production start and prolong production ramp up.

Based on two dimensions, geographical and organisational distribution, the following four different types of contexts are defined in this thesis: industrialisation in the local and intra-organisational context (type 1), industrialisation in the local and inter-organisational context (type 2), industrialisation in the international and intra-organisational context (type 3) and industrialisation in international and inter-organisational context (type 4). This thesis addresses types 2–4 and contributes to the literature, which has primarily dealt with the type 1 context. The purpose of the research presented in the thesis is expanding the knowledge on the industrialisation process in distributed geographical and/or organisational contexts with a focus on challenges and mechanisms; this will serve to control the challenges during the industrialisation process.

The findings are based on data from three studies in the manufacturing industry, covering both single and multiple case studies. They reveal that there are some similarities between the type 2–4 contexts and challenges and mechanisms previously identified for the type 1 context. However, several unique challenges and mechanisms are found for the type 2–4 contexts. The findings also show that the challenges can be characterised as internal and external. Internal challenges appear in a single industrialisation site and are associated with internal organisational capabilities at the site. External challenges originate from the research and development (R&D) site and the integration between the R&D and industrialisation sites.

The findings also reveal that the identified challenges disrupt the industrialisation process in various ways and create uncertainty and equivocality during the industrialisation process. The studies presented in this thesis show that, to deal with challenges that create uncertainty and equivocality, it is wise to allow ad hoc mechanisms to be used. One of the key conclusions is that when the industrialisation processes are carried out in type 2–4 contexts, there is a need to allow for flexibility regarding the use of mechanisms depending on the dynamics associated with the specific context.

Abstract [sv]

En av de viktigaste förmågorna hos ett industriföretag är att utveckla nya produkter. En viktig del i detta är arbetet med industrialiseringen, dvs det arbete som berör produktens överflyttning till produktion. Industrialisering är en del av produktsframtagningsprocessen och involverar såväl produktutveckling som produktion. Under industrialiseringsprocessen uppstår ofta olika störningar som kan försena produktionsstarten och förlänga produktionsupprampningen.

Med utgångspunkt i dimensionerna geografisk och organisatorisk distans, industrialiseringen studeras i denna avhandling i olika kontexter: industrialisering i lokal och intraorganisatorisk kontext (typ 1), industrialisering i lokal och interorganisatorisk kontext (typ 2), industrialisering i internationell och intraorganisatorisk kontext (typ 3), industrialisering i internationell och interorganisatorisk kontext (typ 4). Avhandlingen fokuserar på typ 2–4 kontexterna och bidrar till tidigare forskning som främst fokuserat på industrialiseringen i typ 1 kontexten. Syftet med denna avhandling är att bidra till ökad kunskap om industrialiseringsprocessen i geografisk och/eller organisatorisk distribuerad kontext med fokus på utmaningar och mekanismer för att hantera dessa utmaningar under industrialiseringsprocessen.

Avhandlingen bygger på data från enskilda och multipla fallstudier inom tillverkningsindustrin. Resultaten visar att det finns några likheter mellan kontexterna av typ 2–4 och de utmaningar och mekanismer som tidigare identifierats för typ 1 kontexten. Flera unika utmaningar och mekanismer förtyp 2–4 kontexterna har också identifierats. Resultaten visar dessutom att utmaningarna är av intern och extern karaktär. Interna utmaningar förekommer inom den tillverkande enhet där industrialisering sker och är relaterade till intern organisatorisk förmåga. Externa utmaningar uppkommer inom enheten där forskning och utveckling sker (FoU) eller i integrationen mellan FoU och den tillverkande enhet där industrialisering sker.

Utmaningarna skapar störningar i industrialiseringsprocessen på olika sätt och kan leda till osäkerhet samt tvetydighet under industrialiseringsprocessen. Resultaten visar på behov av att använda ad hoc-mekanismer för att hantera de utmaningar som orsakas av denna osäkerhet och tvetydighet. En central slutsats är därför att när industrialiseringsprocesser genomförs i typ 2–4 kontexter är det nödvändigt att tillåta flexibilitet vad gäller användningen av mekanismer kopplat till den dynamik som finns i respektive kontext.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2019. p. 140
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 047
Keywords
new product development, industrialisation, distribution, integration, research and development, manufacturing, produktutveckling, distribuerad, industrialisering, integration, FoU, tillverkning
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-45531 (URN)978-91-87289-50-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-06, E1405 (Gjuterisalen), School of Engineering, Jönköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-12 Created: 2019-08-12 Last updated: 2019-08-12Bibliographically approved

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Wlazlak, ParaskevaJohansson, Glenn

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